What Does Cow Brain Taste Like?

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When it comes to eating brains, many people will immediately jump to the thought of zombies or Hannibal Lector, both of which are iconic enjoyers of eating human brains. As such, when it comes to the idea of eating some animal brains meat many people find the idea, along with the look of them off-putting. However, if you don’t think it’s such a bad idea, you may be wondering what does cow brain taste like?

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Do People Actually Eat Brains?

This may come as something as a surprise for some people but brain meat from a variety of different animals is, much like oxtail, is considered a delicacy in various parts of the world. The range of countries where animal brains are often used for culinary pursuits is incredibly broad but notably, this includes Cuba, India, Indonesia, The Middle East, many European countries and even The United States of America.

Cow’s brains in particular though are more popular in western countries. In particular, they are enjoyed in France, Italy, Germany and Spain. However, it is also very well-loved in the cuisines of Indonesia and various parts of the middle east.

What Does Cow Brain Taste Like?

Dishes That Use Brains

The human consumption of animal brains is a practice that is done all over the world by a variety of different peoples, faiths, cultures and countries. As a result, a wide variety of different dishes from around the globe have been invented, refined and reinvented. Some examples of delicious and well-loved literal brain food include:

  • Scrambled Brains: Brains of either a cow, pig or lamb that are fried and are reminiscent of scrambled eggs. Sometimes, they will be fried with egg to further emphasize the effect.
  • Gulai Banak: A traditional Indonesian curry that is also known as Gulai Otak. This is spicy coconut curry that uses curry spiced cow brains for it’s primary ingredient.
  • Tianma Zhunao Tang: A popular soup dish from the southern regions of China which uses pig brains as a central ingredient.
  • Brain fritters: A piece of Cuban cuisine that involves coating the brain in breadcrumbs. Following which they will be fried until they are a delicious golden brown.
  • Sweetbreads: Made from a mixture of offal such as the thymus gland and pancreas, along with the heart and brain. This is often considered a good introduction to eating many types of organ meat as sweetbreads possess animalistic flavor that is truly delicious whilst not being too overwhelming.
  • Tête De Veau: Also known as Testina Di Vitello in Italy, this French dish is popular across a large portion of western Europe. It simply consists of a calf’s head that will be boiled for many hours until the meat is deliciously tender.
  • Maghaz: This dish from the Indiant subcontinent consists of the brains of cows, sheeps or goats brains served in a rich gravy. Other variations of this dish may also saute or deep fry the brain.
  • Beyin Sogus: This simple but delicious dish originates from Turkey and consists of tender lamb’s brain with fresh salad.
What Does Cow Brain Taste Like?

What Does Cow Brains Taste?

Truly when you eat brain, it is not like eating meat of any other kind. Simultaneously brain is known for being both creamy yet quite firm and is sometimes compared to a firm fish roe. As such it is often considered to be like you are simultaneously eating meat and not eating meat.

Naturally though, between different types of animals, the same cuts of meat will inevitably vary in taste and texture. The cow brain in particular is known for having a more robust texture when compared to most other animals with the making excels. As such like an egg, brain scrambles when fried, as such thanks to the more firm structure, the cow brain will often be eaten in a similar fashion.

Taste-wise though, cow brain is often not considered to be as flavourful as some other options. As such, it is often coveted more for its texture than its taste. However, this delicate flavour is ideal when you want a more mild dish if your want other parts of your meal to take centre stage.

What Does Cow Brain Taste Like?

How Do Other Forms Of Brains Taste?

As mentioned above, the same cuts of meat from different animals will naturally vary greatly in terms of texture and taste. Now from the above information, we know that cow brains are quite firm with a mild flavour. However, if you are wondering what other brains taste like, you’re in luck. Unless of course, you’re curious about human brain taste. Aside from that though, below you can find out how a variety of animals brains taste:

  • Pig Brains: As mentioned above, pig brains are quite firm and robust from a textural point of view and are comparable to cow’s brain in this regard but is more smooth. However, unlike cow brains, pig brains are known for being incredibly flavorful with a delicious savory taste.
  • Chicken Brains: Naturally chicken brains are inevitably smaller than most other options. They have the flavor of chicken fat and a distinctly sponge like texture.
  • Lamb Brains: Like pig brains, lamb brain is known for being quite smooth in texture with a wonderful savory taste. However, it is also noticeably much more tender.
  • Goat Brains: Like cow brains, goat brain is quite mild in terms of flavor. However, it is also much more tender and closer to lamb in terms of texture.
  • Fish Brains: The brains of fish are much more runny than those of lamb animals. However, they are deliciously oozing with oily and fatty quality with a distinctly fishy taste.
What Does Cow Brain Taste Like?

Can You Catch Mad Cow Disease From Eating Cow Brains

A major concern that may put off a lot of people when it comes to consuming cow brains is the concern that you may contract bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Also known as mad cow disease this neurological condition causes severe degeneration of the brain and spinal cord.

There is no cure for this disease which is contracted by the ingestion of infected tissue or being exposed to areas where contamination is present. Additionally, symptoms may potentially not manifest for years after infection. When it is detected though, truly the only actions that can be taken is to help alleviate some of the more severe symptoms of the infected individual.

As such, to answer the question, someone can catch mad cow disease from eating cow brain. This is a small risk, however, if you intend to consume cow brains then it is highly recommended that eat cow brains cooked by reputable establishments or buy them from reputable butchers.

Answered: How Cow Brains Taste?

Cow brains, like and assortment of other types of animal brains are eaten by peoples of various cultures, nations and peoples the world over. These range from western Europe to the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and even in parts of America.

Wihe cow brains in particular though, there is the concern that eating it may result in the consumer contracting mad cow disease. However, much of this risk can be minimised by only eating cow brain that you know to be sourced from reputable origins.

Whether, you are undeterred from eating cows brain or are only willing to eat brains of other animals, there are plenty of ways to do so. As such, not matter if your culinary preferences are French, Italian, Middle Eastern, Indonesian, Indian, Pakistani or American cuisine, there are a wide of directions you can explore when trying brain.

FAQ – What Does Cow Brain Taste Like?

Are cow brains safe to eat?

When eating cow brains there is a risk of contracting mad cow disease. However, the likelihood of such a scenario is unlikely. That said though, if you do want to try cow brain then you should minimise the risks by only eating cow brains sourced by trusted butchers.

What happens when you eat cow brain?

When eating cow brains in the vast majority of circumstances you should be perfectly safe. However, unlike other animal brains, there is the risk of contracting mad cow disease from ingesting cow brain. As such, if you do wish to do so, then you should minimise the risks by only eating cow brains sourced by trusted butchers.

What is it called when you eat cow brains?

In many countries cow brains and spines are restricted or prohibited when it comes to human consumption. This is because of the low but entirely possible reality that someone who consumes them may contract mad cow disease. That said though, if you do wish to try cow brain then you should minimise the risks by only eating cow brains sourced by trusted butchers.

By James Clarke

James is an enthusiastic home-cooking hobbyist (being very modest) his taste-buds are tuned for flavor profiles that will have you salivating at the thought of what's cooking. As an occasional author at Alice's Kitchen he brings his own unique style to his articles and entertainment through them. You can always check out what he's up to over on his social profiles linked below.