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Mar 28, 2008 03:28 PM

Sweetbreads @ Babbo

I have been hearing so many raves about the sweetbreads at Babbo, I have to ask, what do they taste like? I'm a pretty adventurous eater, but deal breakers for me tend to be texture. I don't like food with fat on it, in fact if I accidentaly get any fat in my mouth, I'm finished eating, and texture can also be a problem. For example, I love calamari and octopus, but can't do tripe. I love chopped liver but can't do liver itself because of texture and marrow is an absoulte no. So, can anyone describe sweetbreads for me?

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  1. You won't like it. I'm being facetious here. I've never had the sweetbreads at Babbo. But I have had them at Lupa and they're great. They're not fatty in the way that marrow is, but they do have a texture not entirely dissimilar to liver--certainly not chewy like calamari or octopus. See if you can someone else to order it and take a taste, but given your texture issues I don't think it would be a good idea to get an entire order for yourself.

    1. I actually was unimpressed the one time I had them. Their tripe on the other hand is the best in the universe.

      1. Texture is probably more similar to liver than calamari. I don't think you'll like it. A friend of mine had a very interesting description of them. When we were eating at Craftbar, she said it tasted like cake batter. So picture something tasting like a savory cake batter while having a texture more like liver but not as granular.

        1. I don't know how Babbo does them, but sweetbreads can be prepared in a variety of ways w/ different textures (just trying to make this more complicated for you). The most accessible way is the simplest: thinly sliced, breaded and sauteed crisp. The most squeamish preparations are (IMO) usually whole, poached/braised sweetbreads served as a main course.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tbear

            Babbo dredges their sweetbreads in flour, fries them, and then adds a glaze with orange, then it is dusted in fennel. The treatment is somewhat similar to Chinese-American food, i.e., Orange Chicken. However, the sweetbreads are still rich and creamy, and somewhat fatty, so I am not sure OP would enjoy the texture.

          2. Totally agree with all the posters so far-Babbo does a nice version of it but from your description of what you like and don't like-you won't like! Go with someone who does and have a taste-at the end of your meal. BTW just went there last night for second time-I wanted to give it another try since my first visit at bar last week was lackluster-and OMG- sat in dining room upstairs-what a nice time we had and the food was superb!