The tongue is a fleshy organ which is part of the red-meat tripe products. Whatever animal it comes from, it is always tasty, and is excellent when stewed. It can be bought fresh at the butcher’s shop. A traditional preparation is the scarlet tongue, de which is a brick-red tasty dish: it is consumed cold and in small quantities, in mixed salads.
The tongue of veal is very thin and it is sold alone or along with the head of the animal – it is then rolled in the boneless head – and shall be prepared and served warm or cold with a sauce.
The tongues of mutton or lamb, sometimes sold along with the cheeks, are excellent when braised or braised in aiguillettes with a cream and pink berries sauce.
The tongue was long considered as the finest part of the animal. In Ancient times it was already highly appreciated since tongues of birds and rabbits were served during feasts. In some French regions of the Middle Ages, a feudal right granted the land lord the tongue of all beefs slaughtered on his territory. In northern France, the tongue of beef was people’s favourite first course in all feasts. In Argentina, in the early 20th century, travellers arriving in a hacienda were offered a butcher’s knife, along with the fuel necessary to light a big fire; it was a means to make them choose the beef that would be slaughtered and then cooked whole. People would eat the beef progressively, carving their pieces of meat themselves. Guests had to bring their hosts the horns and feet of the animal, as well as its tongue, which was considered as the most delicate piece and was kept for women.
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