Marrow: Delicious, Divine Butter

 If you’re not hip to it yet, marrow is delicious and you should try it.  Though it’s generally fallen out of favor in the U.S., lots of folks still enjoy it.  Anthony Bourdain touts “roasted bone marrow with sea salt and toast” as a favorite comfort food and calls marrow “God’s butter.”  I have to agree.  I’ve grown up eating it, and it is fantastic!  Not only is it tasty, it’s a wonderful and rich source of protein and good fats, and it melts in your mouth.  

 The industrialization of food in the U.S. has created a chasm between humans and the sources of our food.  Mainstream culture expects food to be pre-packaged in neat geometric forms, as far removed from (and resembling as little as) the food source itself.  As a result, the average American stomach has gotten quite soft, in more ways than one.  What is considered delicious in many places in the world is (sadly) perceived as unpalatable here.

Marrow is enjoyed all over the world in countries like China, France, Italy, Mexico, Iran, Hungary, Vietnam, Austria, Scandinavia, Ireland, Korea, Thailand, and many, many more.  There are cafes in the U.K. and France where you can order marrow on toast.  The Italians have osso bucco, a shank of braised bone with scoops of delicious melty marrow within.  In Austria, marrow is served with a hearty soup called tafelspitz.

I encourage you to throw off the blinders the industrialized food companies have placed on you.  For the Chicagoans out there, check out The Purple Pig and order the roasted bone marrow with herbs smear.  Gilt Bar has roasted bone marrow with red onion jam and coarse salt on toast.  The Bristol features roasted bone marrow with shallot jam on toast.  David Burke's Primehouse serves bone marrow with crusty country bread and pickled watermelon rind.  Korean Seoulfood Cafe offers Seol-Lung Tang, a broth of long simmered beef and marrow bone with brisket. 

Well… what are you waiting for?  Get out there and try some.  And if you have a recipe for or know other places that serve marrow (including outside of Chicago), I’d love to hear it!  What are your experiences with marrow? 

For recipes and more information on the nutritional value and history of humans eating marrow:


  1. when we were little, my brother's favorite part of the traditional korean short ribs pot roast (Gal Bi Jjim) was the marrow. he used to call it "sticks" b/c the pieces of bone were in 2-3 inch "stick" forms, and he made us all eat the tender rib meat off the "sticks" and he would suck on either end of the bones, consuming the nutritious marrow.
    i personally never liked the marrow, mostly b/c it's so rich, and also b/c my brother would eat it all when we were little, so i never got a taste for it. then we moved to the states and we no longer got too many chances to eat marrow straight out of the bone.
    the great aunt who always cooked and invited the extended family over to her place for every holiday was called, endearingly, the "stick grandmother" by my brother. she was the provider of the delicious "sticks" he loved so much, and the flavored marrow within those "sticks."
    maybe i'll order marrow on toast, a new way to consume it for me, the next time i see it on the menu...perhaps in Chicago? in December?...

  2. it is true indeed that people have misconceptions about what is good for their body and what is not. as we have learned processed foods is what harms our body. thus, we must be conscious of our intake. bone marrow is healthy for you and delicious. so many rich nutrients. :)

    so when am i going to see dao si pai guet?

  3. i second that emotion....for dao si pai guet!! yum.