Put down that fork! You were probably about to enjoy a delicious plate of steaming hot brains, but we’ve got news: Eating animal organs and entrails has become so normal in restaurants these days, it’s no longer cool to consume brains.
Times used to be, if offal — brains, intestines, kidneys, testicles, headcheese and the like — was on the menu, only the most adventurous eaters out there would be tempted to partake.
But partly due to the influence of celebrity chefs like Mario Batali and culinary travelers like Anthony Bourdain — as well as regular people who like to try new things abroad — Americans are becoming more comfortable with seeing things like brain ravioli and pig’s head on the menu, Bloomberg reports.
Chris Cosentino, author of a new cookbook called Offal Good and chef at Cockscomb in San Francisco, says that the more we travel, the more of influence other cultures have on what we eat.
He tells Bloomberg it’s now normal to eat offal, after years of chefs pushing the public to try to eat something they’re scared of.
“You don’t have to yell at them to eat a carrot. But now, it’s considered a norm,” he says of dining on brains and other innards. “It’s stopped being so cool.”
Another reason you may see offal on a menu near you? Restaurants like saving money, and organ meats are much cheaper than other cuts.