About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Sauteed Chicken Livers with Sage and White Wine | Main | Sauteed Lamb Kidneys with Onion, Treviso Style »

Sauteed Sweetbreads with Tomatoes and Peas

OK everyone knows that Sweetbread are the Thymus gland. Just had to clear that up first.

First I had to find sweetbreads in our less than sophisticated Tallahassee market. Clusters & Hops was the place. They were frozen in plastic and pricey but I was committed.


After defrosting them in a pot of cold water, I worked to remove the membrane. Marcella says, “It takes a little patience”, which is not my strong suit but I managed. They poach for about 5 minutes and then you can remove the rest of the membrane.

I cooked some onion in the butter and oil mixture and then added the chopped sweetbreads. They were supposed to “become a light colored brown all over but that didn’t happen. I’m not sure where I mad a mistake but the brown was all going onto the pan and the sweetbreads remained beige.


I added salt and (canned) chopped tomatoes with their juice and let it all simmer.


Finally I added the peas.
The dish was very pretty—actually Christmassy looking with the green peas playing off the red tomatoes.


BUT I really discovered that I don’t like sweetbreads. The texture just was off putting to me. My mom always orders them in high-end restaurants and I remember tasting them once at Michy’s in Miami.
Even Marcella could not make me warm up to the mushy-soft, livery, organ meat.

Comments (2)


Love this post as I am quite certain that I would write the same thing. I commend you!

Marcella Hazan:

Curious how one can use descriptive language that is technically correct either to disparage or praise something. Sweetbreads can be described as "soft", which leaves it to the reader to decide whether that is good or bad. I would add "satiny soft", which would make it clear where I stand, Jan adds "mushy" which makes it clear where she stands. "Livery" is not correct if the sweetbreads were in good condition, because "sweet" is part of the name and part of the taste. You would never describe liver, however delicious, as "sweet". Then Jan adds "organ meat". It has been already established that it is meat and that it an organ, but Jan's placement has an obviously derogatory emphasis, which I think is inappropriate when applied to good food. I am not debating taste, with a husband averse to eating fowl I am in a vulnerable position. What I deplore is questioning the merit of any food that so many others admire. Jane sounds as though she would wear a large button saying "I don't eat organ meats".

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