There’s no quicker way to establish your cred as a foodie than to proclaim a love for offal, the organ meat so derided by the squeamish but embraced by many of the world’s most delectable cuisines. Sure, the idea of eating the innards of an animal may not sound appetizing, but it can be a rare treat. Sweetbreads (the term refers to both the thymus glands and pancreas of very young animals) are a good introduction into the world of offal, since they: a) don’t look like innards (as opposed to, say, tripe, sweetbreads mostly look like little morsels of chicken) and b) they taste amazing. Below, a list of the best places in Boston to indulge in the gateway offal.
•KO Prime,the brand-new eatery from local superstar Ken Oringer, serves their crispy veal sweetbreads as haute McNuggets with honey, cinnamon and apricots on the side. At $15, it’s a little pricier than your average Happy Meal, but we promise it’ll be worth it.
•The menu at Les Zygomates simply says that the sweetbreads are sauteed “aux chataigne”, which means “with chestnuts”. A call to the kitchen revealed that they are, in fact, dredged in chestnut flour, sauteed in canola oil and butter and served on a bed of wild mushrooms, truffle oil and chicken dshfkjsdhk. Sorry. We just collapsed onto the keyboard in a moment of extreme food lust. That was meant to be “chicken sauce”.
•Sweetbreads get a Mediterranean twist at Shine, where they’re served with braised baby artichokes, olives, feta and a caper emulsion. Perfect for spring!