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Jan 19, 2007 01:01 AM

Veal sweetbread vs. lamb sweetbread

Which do you prefer?
Any other animal sweetbreads you like?

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  1. From the link below:

    In Thomas Harris's novel, Red Dragon, Dr Hannibal Lecter invites the Board of Directors of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to a dinner party at his home. The main dish is a ragout whose ingredients Lector refuses to name. At the table, people comment that the orchestra's principal flautist, Raspail, is missing. Some time after the dinner party, Raspail's body is discovered sitting in a church pew, with his thymus and pancreas missing. A true gastronome might remember that these organs (of food animals) are called "sweetbreads." In the sequel The Silence of the Lambs, protagonist Clarice Starling realizes this. It is not known whether any member of the Symphony Board made this connection. Perhaps it was left as "an exercise for the reader."

    1. Stereotypically veal sweetbreads are served and reserved as the "gourmand" sweetbread served in restuarants. Simply because of that reason, I have ONLY had veal sweetbreads, not lamb. Within that subject, the pancreas sweetbreads are the preferred organ (see: Ferris Bueller) between the 2. As for flautist sweetbreads, I've never had them, but I've heard they go well with fava beans.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HaagenDazs

        Ha! I refuse to be grossed out.

        Considering how common sweetbreads are at high-end American restaurants, it's remarkable how rarely we get lamb sweetbreads.

        Much more common in London, at least. I don't understand this. There are certainly enough American lambs to go around...

        Is it just our preference? The restaurants' preference? I should ask the butcher.