If you’ve never tried bone marrow before, you may be excited at the thought, or apprehensive. In American culture it’s not a common offering at restaurants, but more and more people are becoming intrigued by its health benefits and amazing flavor. You could run into this superfood served at a fancy restaurant as an appetizer, or prepare it for yourself in your own kitchen (it’s very simple). Oftentimes people discard bones after cooking meat, or give them to the family pet. However, there’s treasure troves of nutrients hidden in the bones. Animals know this intrinsically, and will always go for the marrow if given the opportunity. What a lot of people aren’t aware of is that the marrow is so delicious, it’s considered a delicacy.
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What Exactly Is Bone Marrow?
Bone marrow is the fatty substance that is formed inside the hollow center of bones. It’s made up of stem cells and when ingested, these cells turn into blood cells inside the body. This means when we consume bone marrow, it helps us to have strong immune systems and allows the body to repair and regenerate cells more rapidly. It has a soft, sponge-like texture and a rich, buttery and meaty flavor. It’s a true superfood that contains the types of nutrients that can sustain our bodies and support healing processes.
Humans Have Prized It Since Ancient Times
Maybe nature made bone marrow taste delicious so that we’d enjoy eating something that’s so good for us. Whatever the reason, the fact is that this stuff has an incredibly rich, buttery flavor. Modern day chefs love using bone marrow because of this, and there’s a long history all the way back to ancient times of humans consuming bone marrow for its winning combination of flavor and nutrients.
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There’s evidence that the earliest hominids foraged for animal bones specifically for their marrow content. Native American traditions prize the fatty substance for its many valuable qualities, especially its ability to aid digestion. Bone marrow consumption has been shown to aid in regeneration of white blood cells, and when leukemia patients were given bone marrow soup, some experienced incredible improvement. Research has shown that bone marrow can help to reduce inflammation, repair the stomach lining and help to restore gut health.
You can certainly get these benefits from drinking bone broth, the well known gut healing tonic, but eating the bone marrow on its own offers a unique experience. When available, we offer bones prepared especially for easily extracting the bone marrow. They’re cut in half to allow convenient access to the goodness in the middle, and it’s very simple to drizzle them with a little balsamic and pop them in the oven to roast. When they’re done, use a knife or a spoon to scoop out the rich marrow and spread on crackers or toast.
Some Of The Many Ways To Eat Bone Marrow
Osso buco is a classic Italian dish that includes bone marrow. It’s a decadent method of slow cooking leg shanks, cut horizontally across the bone so that the marrow is exposed. The naturally tougher meat from the strong leg muscles becomes very tender when cooked low and slow, and the flavorful, decadent marrow is a nourishing treat to finish off the simple but impressive dish. In Vietnamese cuisine it’s used in pho, and often found as a component of the filling for traditional Mexican tacos and tostados.
Another popular way to add bone marrow to your diet is by drinking bone broth. Our bags of broth bones contain a variety of bones selected for the marrow content as well as connective tissue rich in collagen. The bones are simmered for long periods of time to extract the nutrients, creating a thick and flavorful broth. The marrow melts out from the inside of the bones and turns into a drinkable form that can be seasoned as desired and consumed as a hot, soothing and filling beverage.
All bones contain bone marrow inside, but the larger the animal, the more marrow you’ll get. Bones from beef, bison or elk will give you nice quantities of marrow inside the bones. It’s particularly important to make sure your meat is well sourced when consuming the bones or the organs. When animals have been pasture raised the way nature intended, consuming these parts give us incredible amounts of concentrated nutrition. However, bones and organs from conventionally raised or especially factory farmed animals serve up the largest concentration of toxins in the animal’s body. Depending on your sourcing, bone marrow can be a health tonic worth its weight in gold – or a dose of poison.