What Is Cow Brains As a Food Called?

In Morocco and parts of Europe, cow brain is served as a delicacy known as Cervelle de Vea. In Mexico it is known as sesos and often served with tacos. In Bangladesh, Pakistan and some other parts of Asia, cow brain is served as a fried dish known as Maghaz.

Cow brains have a similar taste to beef. However, because they lack any muscle, they have a creamy texture when cooked. Some recipes call for the brain to be soaked in cold water for about two hours or overnight before cooking. Soaking the brain helps draw out the blood and impurities. The water may need to be changed several times until it is clear. Cooked brains may be seasoned with lemon, pepper and salt for added flavor.

One of the major risks of eating dishes with cow brain is the danger associated with mad cow disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eating cow brains infected with this disease may lead to a degenerative brain disorder known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It causes dementia and eventually progresses to death. However, the exact method of transmission is unclear. Cooking beef contaminated with this disease is not enough an effective deterrent because it is caused by prions, an abnormal version of protein, which are unaffected by heat.