The Kidneys as Food

2476 6

The French, renowned for their culinary excellence, pride themselves on being able to include every part of the cow in a tasty dish. Regrettably, this includes finding uses for the many internal organs, one of the more challenging of which are the kidneys. I have never eaten kidneys myself (nor do I plan to), but I imagine that they would not taste very good. They are, after all, the source of urine (not that I’ve drank that before, either, but it can’t be tasty). The classic French dish for kidneys is “rognons de veau sauce moutarde” (veal kidneys in a mustard sauce).

Other cultures also have incorporated this nephrologic bent into their cuisine. The British, for instance, have their steak and kidney pie, which typically uses kidney from either lamb or pig The Swedish cook up a dish called Hokarpanna (a stew containing kidneys), while the Spanish
“Riñones al Jerez” attempts to mask the kidney taste with a sherry-based sauce.


  1. Actually, grilled kidneys are excellent and are very popular in cultures where the barbecue (asado) is their main part of their culinary culture. The secret is in the preparation before cooking. You have to let them soak in a quenching marinating juice to eliminate the ammonia (I personally like a lemon based juice). If you don't prepare the kidneys correctly, it isn't very good (actually it goes from being delicious to inedible). While I love grilled kidneys, I'll pass on the urotherapy. Kidneys are one thing, drinking urine is another.

  2. this was on on "the next iron chef" last night. Matt Sparks

  3. Small quibble/ -2 for grammar: It should be "I've drunk" (it is the present perfect, if memory serves.)
    I enjoy your site.

  4. Love your blog. Qais had an excellent article on the same topic.

    Kidney International (2007) 72, 527

    Food for the gods


Leave a Reply