1

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Less popular organs?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 04, 2011 at 4:33 PM

What are some of the less popular or unusual organs out there to try other than the well known brain, liver, kidneys, marrow and tongue?

I'm interested in those that we only very rarely hear about, yet would be a regular part of a traditional diet.

Also, bonus points if you can pin point some nutrients that are found in higher amounts only in specific organs and that would have helped caveman obtain his nutrition.

For example, I've read about people reporting mild vitamin C deficiencies on a long term very low carb diet, and it's true that vitamin C is scarce in animal products, but the thymus gland is actually pretty high in vitamin C.

Any others like that? Could we get our iodine by eating thyroid glands? More testosterone by eating testes?

I think offal should rhyme with a lot more than just liver and marrow, yet it seems to be getting harder and harder to get all the organs because of regulations.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on January 05, 2011
at 12:31 AM

loves chitlins. mom only cooks them at thanksgiving and christmas, though- probably because of the aforementioned stinkiness...

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on January 04, 2011
at 09:56 PM

Creamy is not a good adjective there, too visceral :P

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on January 04, 2011
at 09:38 PM

My first experience with tripe was in pho. I wasn't expecting it and had a bit of a WTF moment.

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on January 04, 2011
at 09:18 PM

A good way to sample tripe is in pho soup (hold the noodles) at your local Vietnamese restaurant. The soup is yummy, but the tripe is like eating rubber bands.

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on January 04, 2011
at 06:22 PM

REAL Mexican "chorizo" is made from salivary glands and lymph nodes. Tastes great mixed with scrambled eggs....SPICY!!

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on January 04, 2011
at 06:21 PM

Sweetbreads and Tripe (menudo) FTW!! =)

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on January 04, 2011
at 05:54 PM

Mmmm...I forgot about lamb and veal fries! NOM!

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on January 04, 2011
at 05:28 PM

Good luck with the whole pig! That's a great idea. I've cooked a whole pig's head a couple of months ago. Pretty weird having a whole pig's head with eyes, ears and all sitting on the counter top.

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9 Answers

3
A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

on January 04, 2011
at 05:49 PM

Cant say about testosterone or any other nutrients, but Testes are one of the tastiest, creamiest part of the animal - Just stir fried with lots of butter, skin removed.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on January 04, 2011
at 09:56 PM

Creamy is not a good adjective there, too visceral :P

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on January 04, 2011
at 05:54 PM

Mmmm...I forgot about lamb and veal fries! NOM!

2
C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

on January 04, 2011
at 05:09 PM

Pancreas. Good source of arachidonic acid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arachidonic_acid

Anthony Bourdain likes pancreas, and I'm kinda curious about it, but I haven't been able to find it yet. I agree, it's a bit of trouble to get the "nasty bits" of animals, as AB calls them. I prowl around butcher shops regularly and as a result have tried all kinds of new goodies: blood sausage, venison sausage, beef heart, beef liver, beef tongue, lamb kidney, duck eggs, bone marrow- the list is growing. I NEVER would have eaten those things before going paleo- (I used to prowl around bakeries!) but now I'll try just about anything. Next summer I plan to cook a whole pig in my back yard. Screw baking bread!

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on January 04, 2011
at 05:28 PM

Good luck with the whole pig! That's a great idea. I've cooked a whole pig's head a couple of months ago. Pretty weird having a whole pig's head with eyes, ears and all sitting on the counter top.

1
53ae5256bd5ba7fadcf3755115cbc1d5

on January 07, 2011
at 01:14 AM

I love heart grilled (with a little "Montreal" steak seasoning sometimes) great with grilled fennel brushed with olive oil. do put some oil on the steak before you grill, it can be very lean.

1
Medium avatar

on January 04, 2011
at 08:05 PM

My favorite part of chicken are the lungs, but I couldn't tell you if they are especially nutritious.

1
1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

on January 04, 2011
at 05:00 PM

Well, you mention them in your body text, but sweetbreads (thymus gland + pancreas) are amazingly delicious and definitely my favorite piece of offal in terms of flavor. They also happen to be a decent source of phosphorus and B12 in addition to vitamin C.

Tripe is also high in B12 and a number of minerals (selenium, calcium, zinc), but the texture takes some getting used to. Tripe has the distinguished characteristic of being the only food I straight-up dislike eating.

I like chitterlings (chitlins) and they are high in selenium, zinc, and iron as well as some other minerals. They are stinky to cook, though!

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on January 04, 2011
at 09:38 PM

My first experience with tripe was in pho. I wasn't expecting it and had a bit of a WTF moment.

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on January 04, 2011
at 09:18 PM

A good way to sample tripe is in pho soup (hold the noodles) at your local Vietnamese restaurant. The soup is yummy, but the tripe is like eating rubber bands.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on January 05, 2011
at 12:31 AM

loves chitlins. mom only cooks them at thanksgiving and christmas, though- probably because of the aforementioned stinkiness...

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on January 04, 2011
at 06:21 PM

Sweetbreads and Tripe (menudo) FTW!! =)

0
5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on January 05, 2011
at 12:04 AM

I tried ox heart the other day. HUGE organ and very tasty. The butcher suggested baked but I ran it through the food processor and used it like ground (minced) meat for patties etc. Delish and very cheap too. Also chicken livers pan fried with onions, butter, garlic etc and put through the processor make lovely pate. Also if you're adventurous you can make brawn,(jellied pigs head).

0
8632c87a833f1d30f5fa8d4768d10c45

on January 04, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Love sweetbreads, kidney, tongue, livers. Can't stomach tripe or brain though... just cant get passed what they are!

0
531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

on January 04, 2011
at 05:20 PM

Great Wikipedia entry on offal, featuring country-by-country examples.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offal

0
7431586c21bca496c5a7ec7bd0ca4d6e

(974)

on January 04, 2011
at 05:04 PM

The salivary glands should be high in vitamin K2, but I have not idea how it tastes. Thymus has some vitamin C and doesn't taste bad. Pancreas has a weird texture and okay taste.

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on January 04, 2011
at 06:22 PM

REAL Mexican "chorizo" is made from salivary glands and lymph nodes. Tastes great mixed with scrambled eggs....SPICY!!

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