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7 Nutrient-Packed Animal Organs

You eat the cow's butt—might as well try its brains, ya meat chauvinist.

Plus: 3 More Organs to Try

There are two things deceiving about the name "sweetbreads," as they are neither sugary desserts nor bread. (They are slightly sweet tasting, and "bread" goes way back to an old English word for "flesh.") What they do contain is plenty of protein—not to mention fat and cholesterol. They're made from either the thymus gland or pancreas from a calf or pig, and they're dredged in flour and sauteed in butter until golden brown and slightly crispy.

While it looks like something living in the back of your refrigerator (thanks to the "honeycomb" texture), tripe has been considered a delicacy ever since the Grecian days. (Homer wrote that it was prepared in honor of Achilles.) The most common type is reticulum, the honeycomb variety, which comes from the second stomach of a cow. There's also the rumen, or blanket/smooth tripe, which comes from the first stomach. Once you get past the gamey taste and chewy texture, enjoy the fact that you're getting loads of high-quality protein, and a good amount of potassium and other healthy minerals.

Tongue is another organ packed with B vitamins (especially B12). The most common forms are beef and veal tongues. Most tongues share a grainy, firm texture and pinkish-grey color. Stew it, boil it, roast it, poach it—you can even pickle it.


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