Number 62: Sweetbreads

8 Feb

In the 1998 Academy Award-winning film “Six Days Seven Nights” (okay, it didn’t win any awards- it’s a really bad movie, actually), Harrison Ford and Anne Heche (yes, worst movie couple ever) sat around a campfire discussing breadfruit.  “It’s not bread,” Harrison notes ever so cleverly.  “It’s not fruit,” Anne responds.  Wow, what a script.  Anyways, that’s kind of how I felt the other night when I ordered sweetbreads.  They’re not sweet.  And they’re certainly not bread.  So what the hell are they?

There are two kinds of sweetbreads in the world: ones made from the pancreas and ones made from the thymus gland (throat).  And what animal do they come from?  Either a calf or a lamb or a piglet.  So basically, I had no idea what I was eating the other night.  But I had just finished eating a
big dish full of escargot, so nothing seemed weird to me anymore.

The sweetbreads were very thin, like they had been flattened, and very tender.  They were light in color and had the kind of texture that I can imagine lots of people disliking.  They were incredibly soft – almost mushy – and I only needed a fork to cut through them.  I have heard that sweetbreads don’t have much flavor, so maybe that’s why they put the richest, creamiest mushroom sauce in existence on top of them.

The whole thing was so rich that I thought I was going to die by the end of the meal.  I literally had two tiny bites that I had to leave behind, for fear of exploding like the huge fat guy in Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life.” (Ew, I just watched that clip for the first time in years- I forgot how disgusting it is!)

THE VERDICT
The strange texture of the sweetbreads was almost a turn-off, but I managed to get past it.  With the mushroom sauce on top, the meal was very flavorful, but at times, I felt like I was just eating a plate full of fat.  I’d be willing to try sweetbreads again; maybe a different kind of preparation would improve the experience.

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5 Responses to “Number 62: Sweetbreads”

  1. Laura in Cancun February 9, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Oh gross, I couldn’t do that! Mushy meat and animal fat make me gag (literally)

  2. Amy February 9, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    There is a restaurant in Denver I ate sweetbreads at a few years ago and they were delicious!!! Not drenched in rich sauce (there was probably a bit of it), they were the star of the show and really yummy. Mmm… lets eat some next time you come out this way!

  3. IntenseGuy February 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    So… just how come they call them “sweetbread”????

    🙂

    I think I’ll tried mine BarBQued…

  4. Nancy February 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Thanks for bringing back memories of 90 minutes I’ll never get back. My in-laws gave us a DVD player the year they first came out and that was one of the 3 movies that came with it so we watched it. Yuck! BTW, I think it’s still in our collection some year collecting dust. I think I’d rather eat sweetbreads than watch it again.

  5. Miss Angie February 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    A plate full of fat doesn’t sound very good… And why oh why is it called sweet bread? Weird.

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