Brain (food)

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Ready-to-cook pork brain

Hirn or Brägen (also Bregen , from Low German ) is called the brain of slaughtered animals in kitchen language . Monkey brain is a rare delicacy .


The word Brägen is derived from the Indo-European mregh , mrogh , from which the Germanic word bragna arose. This word is related to ancient Greek βρέγμα ( bregma 'front part of the head') as well as English brain , Old Frisian brein and Middle Low German bregen .


Recipe for calf brain from the Wilmington Lokal-Anzeiger, Delaware, May 16, 1914
Prepared calf brain

The brain consists of a soft, grayish-white mass, which is mainly composed of roughly equal parts of fat and protein . The brain is rich in vitamins and contains the most cholesterol of all foods, up to 3 g per 100 g , about twice as much as egg yolks . The taste of fried brain is reminiscent of liver , raw it tastes nutty and has a metallic aftertaste.

Veal and lamb brains are particularly suitable for starters , pies and ragouts ; Pig and beef brain can be processed into sausage. The processing of bovine brain was already unusual before October 2000: At that time, processing was banned in food production to protect against BSE infections.

In preparation, the brain should first be watered thoroughly. Then the skin is peeled off, blood residues and veins are removed and it is rinsed again. The brain is then carefully cooked in vegetable broth , which solidifies it, and further processed according to the recipe.

Dishes with a brain include brain pancakes , Hirnschöberl soup , ragout fin , Bregenwurst , brain with egg , baked brain , brain soup , (formerly) cervel sausage . Bregenwurst is eaten in some parts of northern Germany (e.g. Weserbergland and Heide) with kale (less commonly referred to as brown cabbage ), but it no longer always contains brains. This is also where pee is eaten with kale.

Web links

Commons : Brain (Food)  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Friedrich Kluge : Etymological dictionary of the German language . De Gruyter, Berlin 1975, Lemma Brägen.
  2. Turkey sausage may contain beef in Germany, Welt Online, December 21, 2000 Online
  3. Assessment of human exposure to BSD BgVV, February 23, 1999 Online (PDF; 42 kB)
  4. Possible use of specific risk materials in the manufacture of meat products until October 1st , 2000 BgVV, December 22nd, 2000 ( PDF )