Monday, December 12, 2011

Groovy Tongue

When I was a newlywed the first time, my then-husband revealed a dirty little secret he didn't tell me before we took the vows - he loved tongue.

Boiling tongue, even if you like it, is not a job for the faint of heart. And when your new hubby is a grad student on a serious budget, you don't go to the deli to get it - you cook it yourself, at home.

Now, I like a nice tongue sandwich, but I'm really not sure I'd have married him had I known that beforehand.

First, you have to get past the size of the darn thing - who knew tongues, even tongues from cows, could possibly be that big. It's hard to find a pot roomy enough to fit it in.

Then there's the texture, as rough as a cat's tongue and, being a cat lover as I am, the comparisons with beloved pets leap horribly to mind.

Then you boil the thing forever (otherwise, it's tough as old boots) and, after it cools, you have to skin it. The skin peels off pretty easily - pallid, rubbery and leathery.

Are you ready for dinner yet? I certainly wasn't. I'd feed my young hus the same night but I could never face tongue without an intervening day or so while my brain suppressed all the revolting steps of preparation.

So, you can imagine my delight when I found thinly-sliced, already-smoked tongue from the Fifth Quarter at the Kensington farmers' market last Sunday! Huzzah! Scott Brennan had done all the icky bits himself, including the smoking, and saved me the trauma. If that isn't a groovy find, I don't know what is.


10 Comments:

Blogger Greg said...

I think tongue is on my yuck factor list. I bet if I ate and did not have to look at it I might be ok.

Sunday, December 11, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I wanted to eat tongue after reading a children's story about the cattle roundup. Got my chance on the Matsonia, crossing to SF. I hated it. So sad.

Sunday, December 11, 2011  
Blogger namastenancy said...

I absolutely LOVE tongue and it's darned difficult to find in SF. I never mind the long cooking as I put lots of spices, bay leaf, cloves, garlic and vinegar in the water. The house always smells wonderful. Yes, there is a lot of waste as you have to peel the skin but I can think of several ways to serve it - all delicious.

Sunday, December 11, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, it was on mine for many years, too, but it's actually very mild. It's the preparation that starts my gag reflex - one of the few things that does.

Cookiecrumb, so sad for your disappointment. If you were a little kid back then, you might give it another try now that you're all grown up.

Nancy, you might try Olivier's in Dog Patch. A friend of mine raves about his meats and since tongue is a very individual taste, you might not have much competition for it. :-)

Sunday, December 11, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I was a brave eater when I was a little kid. Day-old poi!
I have tried tongue as an adult, hoping... But it's the texture.

Sunday, December 11, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, surprising about the texture - it has so little. But at least you gave it the old "college try!"

Sunday, December 11, 2011  
Blogger namastenancy said...

Actually, I am thinking of Bryan's on Church street as it's easier for me to get to via public transportation. I like the texture - rather like brisket but I make mine spicier and serve it with a mustard sauce or a vinaigrette. (IMHO).

Sunday, December 11, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, First Hus liked it with mustard, too, the first night, then in sammies to finish it up.

Sunday, December 11, 2011  
Blogger Hungry Dog said...

I have never had tongue. I would eat it if it was served to me (brought up that way and it stuck) but would never order it. And the process of preparing it is...troubling. You are brave.

Monday, December 12, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Hungry Dog, I was brought up that way, too. If no one told you what it was, you'd think it was rather mild ham, with a twist.

Monday, December 12, 2011  

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