Dearth of sweetbreads

Recently I was out of town and had the opportunity to have sweetbreads. I also came across some great recipes for them.

But can I find any? Nope. I can get any part of a pig you can name (ears, tails, neck bones, chitlins, etc.), and most parts of the cow–except sweetbreads.

Haven’t found a single butcher store or meat processing place that stocks them, either.

When you buy sweetbreads, where do you go?

(And I don’t live in an area where they should be particularly rare.)

I’ve only had 'em once and that was on a ranch in South Texas hot off the grill. They were kinda like eatin nuts, you knew it was a part of the bovine you weren’t used to but they were pretty damn delicious. So, pray tell, just what part of the critter do those things originate from?

You do NOT want to know! it’s …

**pancreas! ** ewwww!

Mjollnir: I feel your pain. The only place I would guess that would carry them would be an ultra-fancy butcher store, and at that you would probably have to order them in advance. It’s probable that lack of demand and high perishability make sweetbreads difficult to find. But ain’t they good, sauteed and sliced on toast with a little winey au jus?

Binarydrone, not that it makes much difference, but I believe sweetbreads are the thymus glands.

I think it’s thymus, also.

Try asking the food editor of your local, hopefully big city newspaper. She/he might be willing to suggest something.

I’d not be embarassed to call every listing under “meat, wholesale/retail” in my yellow pages.

Then I’d call the 5 best local restaurants that might serve such. As the chef where he get em. I’l think at least one might share info. YOu have nothing to lose.

Ummmm. Sweetbreads, grilled by a Greek restaurant with Greek sausage, beef tenderloin, and liver. In a nice brown sauce. Mopped up with crusty bread. I’m almost home.

According to this website, it’s both.

I’m with you. I have a couple of great recipes for curried goat. I’ve not been able to find goat in Phoenix for five years.

I’m still hopeful though. I don’t want to have to kidnap (hee hee) one from one of the ranches around here…

I’d always heard that sweetbreads were brains, but I’d never tried them. Then I was out on a date one night, with a woman who was a very picky eater, and I saw sweetbreads on the menu; I said “Great! Let’s try sweetbreads!”

She asked what they were; I said, “Promise me you’ll try it, and I’ll tell you afterwards.” The waitress who took our order looked at me funny, and asked if I knew what sweetbreads were. I said yes, thinking I did.

They brought it, and it didn’t look like brains, but we tried it. I thought it was good. My date took a bite the size of a radium pellet, then said, “OK, what is it?” I told her “brains.” She turned green. I liked it and ate the whole thing, even though it didn’t look like the other brains I’d had.

Anyhoo, I looked it up, and as you mentioned, it’s not brains; it’s pancreas and/or thymus. Whatever the hell it is, it’s good, and I know a restaurant in Memphis that has it on the menu.

Anyone know where to find canned calf brains in Memphis? That’s what I really wanted. Brain-omelet is terrific.

FallenAngel: Don’t they carry goat (chivas) at any of your local Hispanic grocery stores?

samclem: That sounds like an awesome Greek restaurant. Would that there was one around here like that! 86 the retsina, however.