Beef tongue

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Boiled beef tongue.

Beef tongue or neat's tongue is the tongue of a cow. Beef tongue is very high in fat, at almost 75% of its calories derived.[1] Some countries, including Canada and specifically the province of Alberta, export large quantities of beef tongue.

The tongues of other animals, notably pigs and lambs, are also eaten, and are very similar to beef tongue.


Kare-kare, lengua with white sauce and pancit canton-bihon (Filipino catering)[1].
Tongue and pancetta with mâche

Tongue is often seasoned with onion and other spices, and then placed in a pot to boil. After it has cooked the skin is removed. Pickled tongue is often used by the preparer because it is already spiced. If cooked in a sauce, it can then later be reused as a sauce for meatballs or any other food item.

Another way of preparing tongue is to scald it in hot water and remove the skin. Then roast the tongue in an oven, using the pan drippings to prepare a gravy.

In cuisines[edit]

Tongue is widely used in Mexican cuisine, and often seen in tacos and burritos (lengua). Also, tongue is a part of Bulgarian cuisine (tongue with butter), Turkish Cuisine (as forms of fried, roasted, boiled and eaten as cold and sandwich), French cuisine, Romanian cuisine, German cuisine, Spanish cuisine, Portuguese cuisine, Brazilian cuisine, Persian cuisine, Indonesian cuisine (semur lidah or beef tongue stew), Nicaraguan cuisine, Philippine cuisine, Albanian cuisine, English cuisine, Russian cuisine, Korean cuisine (hyeomit gui), Japanese cuisine (the dish gyutan originating in the city of Sendai) and Italian cuisine (typical dish in Piemonte and Genoa).

In Belgium, beef tongue is usually prepared with mushrooms in a Madeira sauce. In Poland, Germany and Austria it is served with horseradish sauce.

Beef tongue is also used in North America as a major ingredient of tongue toast, an open face sandwich prepared for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and sometimes offered as an hors-d'oeuvre. It is also high in magnesium and sodium and can help recovery from cardiac arrest.


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