Warning: Gross Food Post-Fried Veal Brains
Weekends in Torino are often spent going to the public market and browsing its offerings. This past weekend Demetrio and I were on the hunt for soup bones for my mom’s wonderful soups. We happened to come upon some veal brains, which I do not often find. Demetrio insisted that we buy some and he said he’d prepare them for dinner. I have eaten them before in Florence as part of a mixed fried plate and in Rome fried with artichokes.
Many people scoff at eating offal (sometimes called the fifth quarter because animals are traditionally butchered into four parts, with the innards and organ meat being the left over, thus the fifth quarter).
Offal in fact is making quite a comeback. It is no longer considered peasant food but more of a delicacy. There are blogs about it and cookbooks on how to prepare it. When I first met my husband, who is Roman (Roman cooking is loaded with offal), he tried to test my culinary waters by offering me all types of offal. He fed me Roman tripe, sweetbreads (which are thymus glands of animals) tripa alla Romana, pajata (a pasta dish made with young veal intestines), kidneys and tongue. I think one of the things that brought us together was that there was quite and un-squeamish about eating his native Roman cuisine. So last night he prepared fried veal brains for my mom and me. I can't say they are my favorite but I CAN say I have tried them.
Here are the brains in their raw state. They still have to be cleaned and trimmed. The brains are very delicate so after we purchased them, Demetrio kept them in his jacket pocket instead of storing them in the shopping trolley.
I love this photo as it reminds me of something from an Alfred Hitchcock movie; notice the gleam of the chef's knife.
The brains were lightly floured then dipped in egg batter and fried. I must say they are not very strong smelling and taste very light, much like silken tofu.
All contents copyright 2004-2006.
All rights reserved.