What Does Bone Marrow Taste Like? Taste, Smell, Texture And How to Eat


Bone marrow is probably not the fanciest delicacy compared to other hyped dishes like avocado toasts or Wagyu beef steaks. Bone marrow has been used as food for centuries due to its high-calorie density that gives you a feeling of fullness, lasting many hours. Even though bone marrow is not very widespread in western countries, its popularity is only growing. If you have never tried bone marrow, you are missing out! In this article, we will tell you what bone marrow tastes like, if it is tasty or disgusting, how to eat it and if it has a lot of health benefits.

What does bone marrow taste like? Properly cooked bone marrow has a pleasantly sweet flavor with nutty and savory notes, a delicately soft, silky, and fatty hearty texture reminiscent of a pudding, and a mild creamy aroma. Bone marrow melts easily and is often served on fresh bread or used for making soups.

What Does Bone Marrow Taste Like? Taste, Smell, Texture

Bone marrow is the spongy tissue located in bones (mostly in the spine and hip areas). Cow, sheep, and elk bone marrow are most commonly used as food since they provide the most nutrients and are abundant.

How would you describe the taste of bone marrow? Bone marrow has a sweet and savory flavor which some people describe as similar to umami. When cooked properly, bone marrow has a pleasant meaty taste, a silky and smooth consistency, and a rich, complex nutty aroma. It is usually spread on fresh bread or used to make soups.

Bone marrow has a unique silky texture and a subtle meaty flavor with notes of cream. Some even say that bone marrow consistency reminds of a pudding or even slightly melted butter. Bone marrow can be eaten in many ways – it can be roasted and served with grilled vegetables, used to make broth or soup, or boiled and spread onto fresh or fried bread or crackers. We do not recommend eating bone marrow by itself as it is too fatty. Making bone marrow broth or spreading it on a piece of bread is the best option to enjoy a delicate taste and numerous health benefits.

Is bone marrow a delicacy? Bone marrow has become a trendy delicacy thanks to its numerous health benefits (A, B12, E vitamins + phosphorous, riboflavin, thiamine), a unique silky and hearty texture, subtle nutty aroma, and pronounced sweet meaty flavor. Bone marrow is served in the finest restaurants all over the world.

As to its health benefits and taste, bone marrow can be considered a delicacy. However, it is a very cheap delicacy if you buy it from the shop or a market and prepare yourself. According to Walmart, beef marrow bones will only cost $4.17 per pound! As for the restaurants, expect to pay around $22-$26 per serving of roasted bone marrow, or as high as $148 for roasted marrow bones and gem lettuce salad (for two people).

See also: What Does Pesto Taste Like? Pesto Taste In-Depth Guide

If you want to save some money while eating delicious soups and sandwiches with all the health benefits, bone marrow is an excellent choice. Since it is very fatty and calorie-dense (1 tsp of bone marrow has 110 kcal, or 786 calories per 100g), you should not eat more than 30-50 grams per day.

How to Eat Bone Marrow?

How do you eat bone marrow? Bone marrow can be eaten by itself as an appetizer (roasted and spread onto fresh or crispy bread), used to make delicious soups or broths, melted over beef steaks, or put on a cracker with coarse sea salt to mix the delicate sweet taste of bone marrow and rich, salty flavor of sea salt.

Bone marrow is not the most versatile food – it is not like pesto sauce that can be added to virtually any dish, except, probably, for desserts. As food, bone marrow can be used to make soups or broths, spread on fresh bread or a toast, added on top of a steak, or eaten by itself. We recommend adding coarse sea salt to the bone marrow to emphasize its slightly sweet and meaty flavor.

When buying animal bones, ensure they are slightly pink and clean. It is better to buy bones from trusted butchers on the local market, but it is also fine to buy them in the shop. Ensure the bones are fresh by looking at the sticker. If you want to prepare broth or a soup, you can buy whole bones, but if you want to roast them, it is better to split them lengthwise so that it would be easier to enjoy the delicacy.

Bone marrow will definitely surprise your family and friends at a party. In western countries, it is still not very common to prepare bone marrow, especially for special occasions. However, this delicacy is quite often used in some Asian countries like Vietnam, Phillippines, India, Indonesia, as well as some eastern European countries like Hungary, where they make beef soups with bone marrow and spread it on toasts. Some chefs even make bone marrow dumplings – they are very delicate, juicy, and sweet.

If you have never tried bone marrow before, you might get surprised by how satisfying it is – thanks to its high-fat content, you will get a pleasant feeling of fulness literally after a few teaspoons.

It is not recommended to serve bone marrow with heavy foods like rice, pasta, or potatoes. Instead, you can season it with fresh parsley, dill, basil and add fresh vegetables like pepper, tomatoes, or corn to enjoy the juiciness and silky consistency of properly cooked bone marrow.

Bone marrow also goes well with lettuce, arugula, or cabbage. You can also sprinkle bone marrow on a steak to make it juicier and nicer. Interestingly enough, calorie-dense bine marrow goes well with cheese! We like eating bone marrow with Stilton and Roquefort – a savory taste of the cheese will complement a slightly sweet flavor of bone marrow and enhance its aroma.

What is the consistency of cooked bone marrow? Properly cooked bone marrow acquires a delicate, silky, fatty consistency reminiscent of slightly melted butter or a fresh pudding. Raw bone marrow is too firm, so it is not suitable for eating.

If you want to cook bone marrow broth, you will need to cook it for at least 24 hours to get all the nutrients out of it and make the broth thick and tasty. Sometimes you will need up to 48 hours to cook it. We recommend you add some parsley or dill to enhance the flavor of the broth.

All in all, bone marrow is only gaining its popularity in the cuisines of the western world but is very common in Asian countries. If you buy fresh bone marrow and prepare it properly, you will enjoy a truly delicate meaty taste, a silky texture, and a complex, creamy aroma.

Bone Marrow Health Benefits

Is it healthy to eat bone marrow? Bone marrow is a healthy calorie-dense (110 kcal per 1 tsp) delicacy. It contains vitamins A, B12, E, which provide energy, improve skin, nail, and hair condition, as well as riboflavin, phosphorus, and thiamine which improve metabolism, promote cell growth and strengthen bones.

Animal bones contain a lot of calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, indispensable for strengthening human bone tissue and reducing joint pain. Moreover, bone cartilage contains collagen that transforms into gelatin under heat treatment and provides valuable amino acids. Also, bone marrow contains a lot of A, B12, and E vitamins as well as Omega-3 and Omega-6 that improve the skin, hair, and nail health and give you an energy boost. If you want to prevent wrinkles and make your skin softer, then you should definitely include this delicacy in your diet.

Bone Marrow Taste FAQ

What does bone marrow broth taste like? Bone marrow broth acquires a meaty, fatty flavor reminiscent of soft butter. To get more nutrients and health benefits out of bone marrow broth, be ready to cook it for at least 12 hours. Season the broth with parsley to give some extra flavor.

Is bone marrow disgusting? Those who say that bone marrow is disgusting probably have never even tried it and are prejudiced. Properly cooked bone marrow has a pleasant sweet-and-sour flavor with hints of nuttiness. Many gourmets say bone marrow has umami flavor, meaning essence of deliciousness when translated from Japanese.

Why is bone marrow so tasty? Bone marrow acquires a silky texture similar to a soft pudding and a deep, pronounced meaty taste with buttery notes. Bone marrow goes well with bread, in broths, even melted over a steak, or can be eaten by itself (for example, roasted).

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