What Does Cow Tongue Taste Like?

Grilled cow tongue

Cow tongue doesn't sound very tasty at first, right? But, although it seems that the tongue is the last thing you can eat in the world, this is a delicacy that many people adore.

So, if you are curious about how this piece of meat tastes, you will have fun trying this delicacy. But first, let's find out what the king's tongue tastes like.

Cow Tongue on a plate

The taste, the texture, the way of eating and the benefits of this food will surely be interesting. Cow tongue tastes like most other beef meats but still has unique characteristics. Please keep reading to find out more about it.

More About a Cow Tongue

Cow tongue or beef tongue is a popular piece of meat most often popular in South America (Mexico and Puerto Rico) and Eastern and Southeast Europe. It's a piece of muscle that has a sensational taste as you can cook it in different ways.

That's why we say that the tongue is one of the most versatile pieces of meat because you can use it for cooking a variety of sumptuous dishes.

Grilled cow tongue

Cow tongue can be boiled, baked, fried, or stewed in a delicious sauce. Also, it's interesting that we can pickle a cow tongue. Pickled beef tongue is healthy, has many nutritionally valuable ingredients, and is incredibly soft and tasty. It can be served in different varieties, usually thin slices or cubes.

However, the cow tongue looks unattractive at first glance and causes a frown and a facial expression that indicates disgust. That's not unusual.

The very fact of the language creates repulsion in some people at the very start. However, if you want to cross that line and allow yourself to try this dish, you will be satisfied. So, what does a cow tongue taste like?

What Does Cow Tongue Taste Like?

Although you may frown at the thought of eating tongue, remember that it’s a high-quality part of the meat that is just that - meat. The sooner you forget that the tongue is in front of you, the easier it will be for you to give this delicious food a chance.

Beef tongue served

This piece of meat has a delicate taste and aroma that allows this piece of meat to be used with different combinations of ingredients and in various recipes.

The cow tongue is soft, mild in taste, and with a nice amount of moisture. It tastes like beef, not much different from other cuts, especially if you cook it in a recipe with rich sauce like this Instant Pot Mongolian Beef. But if you are careful, you will notice that there is still a difference. The taste usually depends on the preparation method, but it’s primarily mild and juicy.

To enhance the tongue's taste, you can first soak it in an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar and then cook it. This way, you will get an even richer taste of beef, and the meat will melt in your mouth.

What Texture Does a Cow Tongue Have?

The cow tongue has a chewy texture, a bit fatty due to its large amount of fat, but still soft and juicy. However, we cannot say that the texture differs from other beef parts. On the contrary, they are similar, which is good news for those who like meaty textures.

Cow tongue texture

Its texture resembles a steak because both pieces are made of muscle. However, it’s a little tougher than steak because it has more fibers and connective tissue.

But that's what gives it a richer taste. Also, the tongue is coated with tough and thick skin that must be removed during preparation.

How to Eat Cow Tongue?

As we have already mentioned, you can cook and prepare cow tongue in different ways:

  • cooking
  • baking in the oven
  • frying
  • grilling
  • stewing in sauces

You can peel it (if the skin has not already been removed) and cut it into thin strips to make it easier to cook. So, stew it in a large pan or pot until it becomes soft.

You can use the tongue prepared in this way as a filling for tacos, sandwiches, or in some other way. You can use it in any dish where you usually use meat, for example:

Beef Fajitas

Beef and Broccoli

Jewish Brisket (

and many more.

Since the cow tongue has a mild taste, it goes well with different sauces. It can be any sauce, such as gravy, Worcestershire sauce, soup stock, etc.

You can bake cow tongue in the oven if you want a quick lunch. Turn the meat several times so that each side is equally well seared and the meat in the middle is prevented. In the end, the meat will be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

You can also fry the marinated cow tongue in a bit of oil in a pan or on the grill. Frying gives a unique taste; if you add good spices, you will get a perfect lunch.

How Healthy is it to Eat a Cow Tongue?

Cow tongue has its good and bad sides, so we will briefly try to answer the question of how healthy it’s to eat this piece of meat. Namely, a cow tongue is rich in zinc and iron. Zinc is vital for our immune system, while iron helps with anemia.

Cow tongue with herbs

Also, it’s rich in amino acids that build and maintain muscles and vitamin B12, essential for our nervous system's functioning.

But this piece of meat is very fatty and high in calories. Therefore, having it on your desk every day isn't desirable.

But a balanced diet is generally the key to health. So even occasional, balanced consumption of a cow tongue has its benefits in preserving the health of your body.

What Can We Conclude?

Although cow tongue is a controversial piece of meat, many avoid it since it's a tongue - it’s rich in flavors with an interesting meaty texture. In addition, it has a mild taste that melts in your mouth and is quite tasty, like beef, if prepared properly. So try to overcome your initial aversion to cow tongue and try this delicacy.

Cow Tongue FAQs

What Does Cow Tongue Taste Like?

The cow tongue is soft and has a mild taste and moisture. The primary flavor is beef, and there is not much difference between cow tongue and other cuts of meat. Yet, it's milder, so it goes well with different ingredients.

Is Cow Tongue Safe to Eat?

Yes, cow tongue is safe to eat, delicious, and a specialty in many countries.

Is Cow Tongue Healthy to Eat?

The cow tongue is rich in zinc, iron, amino acids, and vitamin B12, which help maintain the health of our body, especially blood and muscles. But, on the other hand, it’s very fatty and caloric. Therefore, it’s not advisable to eat it every day.

Is Cow Tongue kosher?

Yes, cow tongue is kosher as well as any beef tongue.

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