Foods You Should Know: Bone Marrow

Sometimes I like to gross people out with the things I like to eat. I once ate an octopus that was still moving, I have eaten all sorts of organ meat, raw seafood only scares me if it’s not fresh, but I true love is Bone Marrow.

It was 2006 when I first was peer pressured into eating bone marrow by my cousin. He chided me for not scooping the gelatinous substance from the inside of my osso buco bones. And as soon as I tasted it I was hooked. Bone Marrow is not something you eat every day, it is rich and really not the most approachable thing to serve to guests.

In ancient times bone were more sought after than meat. They were light, portable, they could be used as weapons and tools. But they also were full of one of the richest substances in the mammalian body, bone marrow. Bone marrow has sky high caloric value, it’s a great source of minerals and nutrients, the cholestorl in bone marrow are mostly comprised of low density lipoprotein* Humans were not the first to figure out the value of bone marrow. Preditory and scavenger birds have beaks that are designed to crush bone to get at the marrow. Some of the larger preditory birds, such as vultures, have been known to drop large bones from hundreds of feet in the air to smash them so that they can eat the calorie packed marrow.

The best thing about bone marrow is that is tastes amazing. Even though the texture of bone marrow is ultra rich and velvety in texture the flavours bely it’s consistency. There is a subtle nuttiness to the flavour of bone marrow, as well as a slight sweetness that comes out when it is salted.

I like my marrow with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt spread over toast. It’s simple, it’s flavourful and it costs almost nothing. All you do is go to your local butcher and ask him for marrow bones. You then stand them upright on a baking sheet with some oil, and salt and roast them at 350 for 15-25 minutes. You then break through a thin membrane of spongy bone and scoop out the marrow.**

I don’t expect many of you to try this but if you are feeling adventurous it’s an easy thing to make, to expend your food horizons.

*The “good” cholesterol.

**After all that you can still make soup.