Originally, Saint Louis was the place for cow brains, since it was essentially a big slaughterhouse, and you can't ship brains, so you scramble them with eggs. My Grandfather and Gary's both ate brains with their eggs. Brains? 25 cents. That would have been in the forties.
Well now brains cost $5.95. And they aren't served with eggs, they are deep fried and served on bread. They are common enough to merit their own Wikipedia entry. But yet uncommon enough for me to want to try them.
"Are you insane?" Mom said when she heard. "Over my dead body."
See? I waited. Not that it mattered, Mom's concern was Mad Cow, and this was a pig brain sandwich. So today we went to Schottzie's:
And here it is:
No, that photo doesn't do it justice. The photos I had seen of the cow brains looked like slices of brain. (When I said that originally, Mr. Biology Major sneered, "Since when do you know what a brain slice looks like?" I pointed at the bathroom.)
Here's a cross-section:
I thought at first that was like a brain version of chicken salad, but no that's all white matter there. Yummy yummy myelin! Just like my MS eats. It came with onions and pickles and hot mustard, but as I said to the waitress, "But then you can't taste the brains." I don't like wasabi or soy sauce or ginger with my sushi either.
Speaking of sushi, on our honeymoon Gary ordered a big plate of sashimi. He put one bite in his mouth, and I remarked, "Tastes like raw fish, doesn't it." Then he spat it out, and shrieked, "This tastes like raw fish!"
This didn't taste bad at all. It really didn't taste, period. It felt. Picture a sandwich made of deep fried scrambled eggs.You just can't deep fry something that soft and non-descript, it makes you focus too much on the texture.
So, my first bite was, chew chew chew, not bad at all, really can't taste much brains (Gag).
My second bite was, chew chew, I can see scrambling this with eggs, that would be good, it's really soft (Gag).
Do you ever eat bananas? If it's not a very tasty banana you'll chew and then be overwhelmed with the banana texture in your mouth and gag? That's what it was like.
So, Gary said "Well, Ellen, you have to put the onions and mustard and pickles on it! It's the German way!"
So, he ate half, just like a good German. However, the Rye bread and Deep-Fried Chewed up Banana texture did inspire me to have a Reuben Sandwich and Banana Split for dinner.
I feel a little bad that we only ended up eating half, because a brain is a terrible thing to waste.