Think zombies are the only ones that enjoy chunks of the brain? Well, think again.
Many cultures regard brains (the animal brain, of course) as a cultural food delicacy.
In fact, it can be found on the menus of restaurants worldwide.
But, it’s also not uncommon for many to spend their lifetime without tasting any organ meat.
Although the liver, heart, or intestines as sausages may have popped up now and then, the brain might not have.
This may have driven you somewhere along the lines of “what does a brain taste like?”.
Today we’re here to decipher such questions. So, continue reading to learn more.
What is Brain?
There’s not much confusion in understanding what a brain is.
It’s simply an organ, and in this case, we’re talking about the animal brain, which is cooked and eaten.
The brain is considered a delicacy in numerous cultures and is mainly utilized in Asian and French cuisine.
Recently it has also become a well-known dietary staple in the US.
Many Americans eat brains as a part of their breakfast on a daily basis.
These brains are referred to as ‘superfoods’ due to their high levels of nutrients and protein.
Many consider eating brains to enhance the immune system while also safeguarding your own brain against potential damage.
When eaten, brains have a distinct animalistic taste that’s comparable to coagulated tofu.
The brains of beef, pork, and goats are considered the most frequently eaten types.
However, various cultures worldwide use different animal brains as a delicacy.
What Does a Brain Taste Like?
The specific flavor profile of brains will differ based on the animal, but generally, they offer a savory taste with a slightly bitter aftertaste.
They have a unique flavor that can’t be compared to other animal parts.
The gamey meat or liver’s iron-like taste and umami flavor found in kidneys are absent in the brain.
The brain’s taste is unique, and the closest comparison can be made to sweetbreads, aka the pancreas or thymus.
The brain has a tender and creamy yet firm texture and maintains its shape until bitten into.
Once bitten, it becomes a paste-like, mushy consistency.
Given the consistency and texture, it’s comparable to other foods like ackee, tofu, or scrambled eggs.
In fact, Combining scrambled eggs and brains is a common way to eat brains in the US.
This combo of brains and scrambled eggs pairs well and adds a touch of richness.
Despite the taste, it can be challenging for many to try brains, which is largely due to its appearance.
Animal brains closely resemble the human brain but in a smaller size.
Hence, restaurants often serve them in a battered style to change the actual appearance.
So, if you’re considering eating brain, it’s likely that the texture and appearance could be more of an issue than the actual taste.
It’s also important to note that brains are high in cholesterol, so they may not be the healthiest food option for people with cholesterol-related health problems.
How to Cook Brain?
Before preparing brains, it’s recommended to soak them in brine (salted water) for at least 2 hours or overnight to extract any blood.
Avoiding this step can cause the brain to become unappetizing and gray.
However, some chefs argue that a fresh brain obtained directly from the skull can be cooked without the need for soaking.
After soaking, it’s best to cook them immediately, but it’s advisable to cook them partially first, especially if you plan on serving them to others.
Partially cooking the brains helps maintain their shape, making it easier to incorporate them into other dishes while also enhancing their flavor.
Next, poach the brains in liquid, which is typically with salt, water, lemon peel, and bay leaf.
Dairy mixture can make a good substitute as well.
Once cooked for about 20 minutes, cool and refrigerate the brain.
After refrigeration, you can serve the creamy and delicate brain by cutting them into evenly-sized pieces.
This is one of the many ways to cook brains, and there are other ways to cook them.
You can find many online recipes to cook various tasty brain dishes and reinvent your daily meal.
For starters, you can always give popular Asian and French traditional cuisine a try.
To be completely honest, animal brains, particularly in America, still suffer from a strong cultural stigma.
This is despite the fact that other visible animal organs are still commonly eaten.
However, it’s a beautiful delicacy that shouldn’t be missed due to misconceptions.
So, if you’re looking for a new food to experiment with, you’re good to go on the brain.
Moreover, cooking organ meat, especially the brain, is a show of skill.
And fortunately, thanks to this post, you’ve already learned how to cook them, so you’re halfway through honing your culinary skills for the better.