Food - Drink
You'll Probably Never Guess What Sweetbreads Actually Are
Sweetbreads are not sweet nor are they bread — in fact, they are organ meats, also known as offal, and include meats like heart, tripe, brains, liver, and kidney. The name is derived from the Old English term “bræd” which means animal flesh, combined with the sweet description of succulent protein.
Sweetbreads are not common in mainstream supermarkets because there is a preconceived bias against them. However, they’re quite popular in some places in America, like New Orleans, where you can get pan-fried sweetbreads at Patois, or sweetbreads with house-made linguini at Carrollton Market.
Beginners who want to try sweetbreads should go for a professional preparation, as cooking them can be complicated — AllRecipes says to soak them in acidulated milk, cold water, or buttermilk first, followed by blanching, before cooking. Chefs Resources suggests soaking sweetbreads for 24 hours, a process known as degorging, to get a milder flavor.