What Does Bone Marrow Taste Like?

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With all the bizarre things people have been trying and eating nowadays, getting a taste of bone marrow isn’t a big deal. In fact, it’s not just delicious, and it’s also super healthy and beneficial for your physical self! While some might think it to be gross, when served the right way, bone marrow is absolutely delicious! But what does bone marrow actually taste like? Let’s find out!

Bone Marrow

Bone marrow has a rich taste with subtle hints of sweetness and nuttiness to it. The umami flavor of bone marrow can be accentuated by serving it in certain ways. It tastes good not only on its own with a bit of salt but even in stews, soups, etc. No matter how you choose to eat it, bone marrow is bound to become a favorite of your taste buds no matter what!

Bone marrow might not sound or seem appealing to most people, but you’d be surprised to know that it’s a part of fine dining menus nowadays. One can even go as far as to call it a delicacy. Bone marrow is easy to cook and tastes incredibly tasty when served spread on some toast. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself!

If you’re a meat lover and love rich flavors, then bone marrow is something you’re going to love once you get to taste it! People all across the world have started including bone marrow in their diets, mostly because it is packed with several nutrients and health benefits.

In this article, we’ll discuss the taste of bone marrow in great detail. You’ll get to know what bone marrow actually is, how you can cook it, how you can preserve it for later use, the various health benefits bone marrow offers when included in your diet, and much more! So, are you ready for this mini informative and delicious adventure? Let’s go then!

What Is Bone Marrow?

Bone Marrow

Bone marrow is a spongy and soft tissue contained inside the center of bones of various animals like cows, mooses, lambs, deers, sheep, etc. In layman’s terms, bone marrow is a soft substance inside a bone and is delicious. It is an important part of various European and Asian cuisines and is widely used in gourmet dishes. 

When the meat is cooked, the bone around the bone marrow toughens or stays the same in texture, whereas the marrow contained inside it softens and gets cooked. The femur or humerus are the bones whose marrows are mostly offered for sale.

You can easily find bone marrow in the bones of the meat you buy from supermarkets or from a butcher. There are two types of bone marrow – yellow bone marrow and red bone marrow. Red bone marrow is more nutritious than yellow one, but the latter is the better-preferred option by people all over the world.  

What Does Bone Marrow Taste Like?

Bone Marrow

If you’re someone for whom the thought of trying new or slightly unusual foods is off-putting, then you might want to know what bone marrow tastes like before you try it! (Kind of like a mini heads up!) While it seems like an impossible idea to get to know what a certain thing tastes like without eating it first, let me do the job for you and tell you what bone marrow tastes like!

Bone marrow has a nutty and slightly sweet taste, along with a creamy and buttery texture. It has an overall umami flavor and tastes savory when cooked properly. It is semi-solid and can be enjoyed in a lot of ways.

While you might think that bone marrow has a strong fleshy taste as liver and kidney do, it doesn’t. Its taste is a mild combination of blood and fat but is more delicious than the two of these, duh!

Given below are the answers to some possible queries that you might have in mind after reading about the taste of bone marrow. Take a look!

Is Bone Marrow Disgusting?

Bone marrow isn’t disgusting. However, it totally depends on a person’s taste palette and flavor preference. While bone marrow is nothing more than portions of tissue or fat contained inside of long bones, which sounds disgusting but is definitely more delicious than that!

The buttery, savory and sweet taste of bone marrow makes it a much-relished delicacy. Incorporated in various dishes like soups, dumplings, stews, etc., bone marrow is anything but disgusting! The bottom line is that you need to try it to know it, as only you know what suits your taste when it comes to food!

Is Bone Marrow Salty?

Bone marrow doesn’t have a dominant salty flavor. It has a subtle sweet and nutty taste, but its taste cannot be defined as salty. Being a savory food item, bone marrow certainly tastes good with just a sprinkle of some salt but isn’t naturally salty.

Bone Marrow

Does Bone Marrow Taste Like Meat?

Bone marrow is rich in taste but not so much when compared to the taste of meat. It certainly has umami, butter, and rich flavor, which is somewhat similar to that of the taste of meat.

Bone marrow is the fatty semi-solid portion of the bone and has this incredible quality of absorbing the flavor of the ingredients it’s cooked in or with. It qualifies as a part of a non-vegetarian diet but isn’t necessarily what you would call “meat.” 

Does Bone Marrow Taste Like Fat?

Bone marrow tastes similar to beef fat but is definitely richer in flavor than beef fat. It is basically the spongy and fatty portion or substance contained inside the long bones of animals. The depth of its flavor is the same as that of a combination of blood and fat. Being higher in fat content than most food items, bone marrow tastes somewhat like fat.

Bone Marrow

Does Bone Marrow Taste Like Butter?

Bone marrow has a soft and smooth texture. It is easy to compare it with that of butter due to its slippery mouthfeel. Being soft in texture, when heated, bone marrow melts, and its soft texture becomes creamy. The creaminess, when combined with its savory taste, makes bone marrow tastes a bit like butter, along with the additional sweetness and nuttiness.

What Does Raw Bone Marrow Taste Like?

Raw bone marrow doesn’t taste quite as good as cooked bone marrow does. It isn’t inedible but can be a bit unappetizing for most people. It has a nutty taste and is a bit slimy in texture. When cooked, the overall taste and texture of the bone marrow improve, and you get to eat a better and more delicious food item.

Bone Marrow

What Does Cow Bone Marrow Taste Like?

The most common type of bone marrow consumed by people is that of cows. Cow bone marrow has an overall savory, nutty, and mildly sweet taste along with a creamy texture. It works best with toasts or as a base for soups and in stews.

What Does Bone Marrow Butter Taste Like?

Bone marrow has a butter-like taste and texture. Being as rich and piquant as butter, bone marrow is similar to butter in flavor. It almost plays the same role as butter on toasts, in soups, in stews, etc. The only difference is that bone marrow is umami in flavor and has a certain meatiness to it.

How To Cook With Bone Marrow?

Bone Marrow

A delicious and nutritious ingredient such as bone marrow deserves to be cooked the right way. To enjoy bone marrow to its full potential, you need to know how to cook it, and that’s where I come in! I’m going to let you in on a few culinary tips and ways you can cook your bone marrow to perfection! 

With increased popularity, bone marrow has now become more expensive than it was before, and it has become even harder to find it. Bone marrow of animals like cows, sheep, lambs, etc., can be cooked to make perfectly delicious meals. 

There are various ways using which you can cook bone marrow – roasting, base for broths or soups, cook curries, etc. But for using any of these cooking methods, you need to first prepare the bone marrow. You’ll also need to take care of the bone you buy to derive the marrow from. 

If you intend on roasting the bone marrow, then long bones are what you should go for. You should also ask the butcher to split the bones lengthwise as it’ll make it easier for you to extract the marrow from the bone once you’re done roasting it. If you intend to use the bone marrow in soups and stews, then you can just use whole bones; no need to get them cut in a certain way. 

Preparation Of Bone Marrow Before Cooking

You need to prepare the bone marrow before cooking it. For this, all you need to do is soak the bones containing the marrow in water containing salt for a day in advance. Keep the soaked bones in the refrigerator. This helps in the removal of unwanted bacteria and blood spots, along with making the marrow firm so that it can be cooked nicely.

There’s no set duration time you need to keep the bone soaked in the salted water. You can just keep them soaked for however long you want. The longer you keep the soaked bones as it is, the cleaner they’ll become.

If presentation is what you’re going for, then removing extra meat from the bones before cooking them will make it look more presentable. In order to remove excess meat, all you need to do is grab a knife and scrape off the meat from the bones using the back of the knife. 

Roasting Bone Marrow

Roasted Bone Marrow

Roasting bone marrow is one of the easiest and best ways of cooking bone marrow. It is often served as an appetizer, but you can use it however you want. To season the bone marrow properly before roasting, you’ll obviously need to cut the bone properly if it isn’t already split lengthwise. 

But if you intend to use the bone marrow, which is unsliced and is straight from the bone, then you should go about cooking it the same way. However, you’ll need the help of chopsticks or a spoon to easily access the bone marrow.

In order to roast the bone marrow, all you need to do is follow the given steps:-

  1. Turn on your oven and preheat it to 425°F if you’re using sliced bone marrow. If you’re using unsliced bone marrow, preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Place a foil over the baking sheet. Now, place the pieces of the bone marrow on the baking sheet lined with foil.
  3. Using salt as a classic seasoning, sprinkle it properly over the bone marrow. This will help bring out and enhance the flavors of the bone marrow.
  4. Make sure that the bone marrow pieces are placed marrow side up on the baking sheet with the marrow side up. Make sure there is enough space between the marrow pieces.
  5. After preheating the oven, place the baking sheet containing the marrow pieces into the oven and bake them at 425°F for 20 minutes. Try not to overbake the bones as it’ll melt the marrow completely, making it inedible.
  6. When tiny bubbles start appearing on the pieces, the bone marrow is nicely roasted.

Culinary Uses Of Bone Marrow

Bone Marrow

There are several culinary uses of bone marrow. Some of them are listed below:-

  1. Spread – You can use the nicely roasted bone marrow as a spread on toasted bread. The creamy texture of the bone marrow, along with its nutty flavor, makes it go really well with the warm flavors and crunchiness of the bread. It is super delicious and is bound to become your favorite snack once you try it out!
  2. Side Dish – If healthy food is what you’re trying to stick to, then you can stir up a salad using bone marrow. All you need to do is properly season the bone marrow with appropriate seasoning spices, like a mix of shallots, parsley, oil, capers, and lemon juice and serve it as a side with some salad.
  3. Bone Broth – If some comfort is what you’re longing for, then you can cook up some bone broth using bone marrow. To do so, just cook the bones in nicely seasoned water-containing veggies of your preference. Do this for about one or two days, and you’ll have yourself a delicious bowl of bone broth after you strain the liquid and season it with other ingredients.
  4. Bone Marrow Dumplings And Soup – Being a good old ingredient of German dumplings, bone marrow adds and enhances the flavor of braised stews and adds texture to sauces. You can use bone marrow for a meaty and tasty filling for dumplings. 

Things To Look For While Buying Bone Marrow

Bone Marrow

The only important factor you need to consider in order to pick the right bone to derive the marrow from is the size of the bone. Usually, people prefer the bones they derive the marrow from to be thick and straight. This is because thick bones make it easier for you to extract the marrow as wider and thick bones expose the marrow properly when cut.

When you’re out to buy bone marrow, look for bones that are broad and thick in size and have big and long channels of bone marrow. You can even ask the butcher to cut and size the bones according to your needs. Bones ranging around 3-4 inches in length would do amazingly well for roasting. Not only that, but it also makes it more presentable.

Getting the bones split vertically will also give you better access to the marrow contained inside, which you can use however you want. Whole bones can be bought and used by you as a base for broths and soups. 

You should go for products of higher quality when it comes to meat. While selecting the bone marrow, go for free-range and organic bone marrow. The bones you select should be clean and have a pale and mild pink color. 

How To Preserve Bone Marrow?

Bone Marrow

After getting to know how useful and delicious bone marrow is, you might be thinking if you can preserve bone marrow for later use. Well, don’t look any further for an answer to this as I’m here to tell you that, yes, bone marrow can be preserved for later use. But how to do it? Let me tell you!

Since meat is perishable, bone marrow is derived from the meat itself can also go bad if not taken care of or preserved properly. The best way to preserve bone marrow is to freeze it well at a temperature of 0°F or less. You can preserve cooked bone marrow for a duration of 3 months by just putting it into an airtight container and placing it in the freezer.

Whenever you feel like using it, you’ll just have to thaw it by keeping it in the fridge for the night and warming it up. Once you’re done doing all of this, you can use the bone marrow however you like. 

How To Preserve Bone Broth

Bone broth can also be preserved for later usage. This can be done by storing the broth in an airtight container and refrigerating it for 6-7 days. After refrigerating it, you can move it to the freezer and freeze it for a longer period of time if you want to preserve it for about 6-12 months. 

You also have the choice of pouring the broth in a container of your preference, which can depend on the amount of broth you need to store, along with the individual batches you need. 

You can also store the broth in freezer-safe bags or jars if you want to store large batches. Small batches can even be stored in an ice cube tray. The broth ice cubes can later be transferred into a container or a freezer-safe bag.

Health Benefits Of Bone Marrow

Bone Marrow

Known for all the nutritional and health benefits bone marrow offers to its consumers, it’s no wonder that the intake of it in the right amounts helps your body remain healthy. 

Bone marrow contains various compounds and hormones which help in keeping your body healthy. It reduces inflammation, reduces joint pain, and improves skin health. 

1. Decreased Inflammation

Bone marrow consumption helps in decreasing inflammation in human beings. A protein called glycine contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps in the reduction of inflammation in the body. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is another compound found in the bone marrow, which helps in the reduction of inflammation.

Lastly, Adiponectin, another protein hormone found in bone marrow, regulates inflammation and helps in improving immune function.

2. Reduced Joint Pain

There are several compounds present in the bone marrow which help in reducing joint pain in humans and also support the strengthening of joints. One of these compounds is glucosamine, which is found in cartilage and is often used for treating osteoarthritis naturally as it has inflammation reduction abilities along with relieving joint pain.

Another one of these components is collagen which supports the development and production of the cartilage of joints and helps in maintaining joint function.

3. Improved Skin Health

Collagen is present in great quantities in the bone marrow. Collagen is a protein essential for keeping your skin healthy. Consuming roasted bone marrow or bone broth helps you to improve the quality and health of your skin.

Nutritional Content Of Bone Marrow

Bone Marrow

Nowadays, a balanced diet with proper amounts of nutrition has become an important part of most people’s lifestyles. With an ongoing hike in diseases, it has become important for people to take extra care of their health. This translates into them having a healthy diet and consuming nutritious foods like bone marrow.

Bone marrow is a highly nutritious food item. It contains a sufficient amount of fat and calories along with several other nutrients, like vitamin B12 and protein. Not only that, but bone marrow also features a bit of pantothenic acid, biotin, and thiamine, which support healthy bodily functions and help in energy production.

Bone marrow is also a good source of collagen, helping in reducing your joint pain and making your skin healthy. Lastly, bone marrow is also rich in important compounds like glycine, chondroitin, and glucosamine.

To know the exact nutritional content of bone marrow, refer to the table provided below. 

NutrientAmount
Calories110 kcal
Total Fat12 grams
Protein1 gram
Vitamin B127% of the Reference Daily Intake
Riboflavin6% of the Reference Daily Intake
Iron4% of the Reference Daily Intake
Vitamin E2% of the Reference Daily Intake
Phosphorus1% of the Reference Daily Intake
Thiamine1% of the Reference Daily Intake
Vitamin A1% of the Reference Daily Intake

Conclusion

Bone marrow has a nutty and savory flavor along with a creamy texture. Bone marrow is the soft tissue contained inside long bones, which can be cooked and consumed. Loaded with essential nutrients, bone marrow is bound to score a permanent place in your diet once you get a taste of it!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is bone marrow?

Bone marrow is the semi-solid and soft, yellow-colored substance contained inside long bones.

What does bone marrow taste like?

Bone marrow has a mildly sweet and nutty taste. It is smooth and creamy and tastes savory when cooked properly.

What are the various ways you can cook and consume bone marrow?

The various ways you can cook bone marrow is by roasting it, cooking it, using it as a base for broths or soups, cooking curries, etc.

What do you need to take into account when buying bone marrow?

The only factor you need to take into account when buying bone marrow is the size of the bone. This is so that you can get easy access to the marrow contained inside the bone.

Can you preserve bone marrow?

You can preserve bone marrow by refrigerating it or freezing it properly in an airtight container at the right temperature for a certain duration of time.

What are the various health benefits of bone marrow?

Bone marrow reduces inflammation, reduces joint pain, and improves skin health.

What are all the nutrients that bone marrow is rich in?

Bone marrow is rich in fat, calories, vitamin B12, protein, pantothenic acid, biotin, collagen, glycine, chondroitin, glucosamine, and thiamine.

What is bone marrow like to eat?

Bone marrow is rich in both taste and texture. It is super creamy and mildly sweet, along with nutty undertones of flavor.

Is bone marrow better cooked or raw?

Bone marrow tastes better cooked than raw. It tastes the best when it is roasted.

Is bone marrow a superfood?

Bone marrow is a superfood as it contains the goodness of all the essential nutrients along with being super tasty.

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