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WikiProject Food and drink (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
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Hannibal Lecter prepares Sweetbreads with human organs at the beginning of Red Dragon. Should this go in the article? :)

I don't think so. I don't see it's particularly relevant. KeithD 10:10, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Depends whether he gives a recipe.--Syd Henderson 00:54, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the "popular" culture references should be removed. Many foodstuffs are mentioned in popular culture and the mention in an encyclopedia article is against WP editorial policy. VirginiaProp 18:37, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
I disagree, I just casually came here to find out what they are and I found the Hannibal Lecter factoid particularly interesting actually. I don't understand why it would be against policy. --Zelda2727 (talk) 05:43, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Your disagreement is wrong. Pop Culture references are discouraged by WP policy (See WP:Trivia. If you disagree with the policy, that's fine and you should bring it up on the appropriate page, but your statement that you "disagree" with a factual statement is pretty stupid. (talk) 12:20, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually WP:Trivia does not discourage pop cultural references per se; it discourages disorganized lists of miscellaneous facts. Pop cultural facts that are relevant to the article are encouraged. See also WikiProject Popular Culture. Dforest (talk) 20:33, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Reference to an item in relationship to popular culture, literature, etc is valid, but it should be in its own section noted as such. Hence, including the Red Dragon in the article is valid within the context of a Popular Culture & Literature section. --Bmoshier (talk) 19:05, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

I disagree with having a reference to what someone said in a movie tied to a scholarly article. Although I feel it's an interesting reference, Hannibals use of sweetbread does not define what sweetbread truly is. If using pop culture references in wikipedia was overly allowed we would have everyone quoting spongebob squarepants for saying barnacle, do you really feel that helps define anything? Lets think of another movie reference.... Idiocracy.

Adverse effects?[edit]

Aren't there adverse effects to eating endocrine glands? I recall a study on the consumption of the thyroid leading to hyperthyroidism. While i can't say the same for the thymus gland, I can speculate that an excess of pancreatic hormones can't be too good for your health.

Pancreatic hormones are all peptides, so they'll all be digested pretty quickly in the small intestine. Even if they weren't, they'd have no waay of getting from the gut to the bloodstream, so they wouldn't have any effect. Thyroid hormones are lipophilic small molecules, so they're much more able to survive digestion and escape the gut. So relax and enjoy those ris de veau! -- Tom Anderson 2006-08-18

Missing info[edit]

How did sweetbread get its name?

Need more info and reference on claim about vitamins and minerals.

Also needs nutritional info. Possible health benefits? used as cure for xxx ? Chinese remedies?

Agreed, article needs nutritional info (talk) 17:44, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Food and Drink Assessment[edit]

Class of article is clearly at "start" class as opposed to "stub" as it has a substantial amount of information and at least one source. However, WP editorial guidelines are not adhered to and it needs more sources and notes to move further. Importance is at "mid" level. VirginiaProp 18:37, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

What is a sweetbread? Verification[edit]

I have read at least 10 definitions of sweetbread online and none of them say it is the from the heart of the animal. Most say it comes from the thymus gland or pancreas and even the stomach. According to what I read, there are two locations for the thymus gland; they are found in the neck and and near the heart (which is why it is sometimes referred to as heart sweetbread). Regardless, almost all the definitions state sweetbreads come from the throat and pancreas. The consistency of this leads me to believe the information in this article is not entirely accurate. In fact, I've seen and heard of people eating beef/veal hearts and it was never referred to as sweetbread. So I truly believe they are totally different things and that this article is wrong. I guess I'll just have to ask my butcher to actually find out more about this. --Zelda2727 (talk) 06:06, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

after further research online I came across sweetbreads mentioned in a book preview on google called, Cupboard Love: A Dictionary Of Culinary Curiosities, By Mark Morton. Here is a link: --Zelda2727 (talk) 09:00, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

I just finished reading "The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine" by Steven Rinella, and he makes it very clear. He too is baffled by the two "types" of sweetbreads--throat and heart-- and is finally taken by an oldtimer to a slaughterhouse where he gets to see it in action. As it turns out, the sweetbreads are ALL from the same thymus gland in the same place--in the neck-- but the "throat" sweetbreads are more cylindrical and symetrically wrap around the more round "heart sweetbread" part, which resembles a heart. Alabamagene (talk) 04:02, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Article needs to be reworked[edit]

This article is way off as far as factual information goes and needs to be redone. The part about the thymus being two distinct organs in the throat is incorrect. The thymus is in the neck, but in fetal anatomy it extends down into the chest and covers part of the heart, as the animal ages it retracts to end up only in the throat. Also, from my understanding, there are two types of sweetmeats "heart" type which is the thymus, and "stomach" type which is the pancreas. (D.c.camero (talk) 03:46, 29 May 2008 (UTC))

Need etymology[edit]

Need etymology. Why are they called sweetbreads? Badagnani (talk) 04:12, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

In other words, why are sweetmeats made of bread, and sweetbread made of meat? (talk) 01:51, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

OED says: "Apparently from sweet + bread, but no reason for the name is obvious". However, Wikipedia says "Once dry and chilled, they're often breaded and fried until crisp." -- which may be why, but who knows. -- (talk) 05:30, 21 September 2008 (UTC)


one sections says the heart sweet breads are preferred while the other says the throat. I'm going to remove both instances of saying one is preferred over the other. (talk) 01:52, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Could Sweet actually come from Suet? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:25, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Nicer picture, perhaps just the sweetbread on its own?[edit]

This is a pretty off putting image in my opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Steviesteveo1984 (talkcontribs) 21:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)


Article currently has:

"Bread" may come from Old English word "bræd" 'flesh.' Online Etymology Dictionary entry for "Brawn"

First of all, the ref should be to term=sweet, not term=brawn, because what needs to be supported is the claim that bread < bræd, not that bræd means flesh. Secondly, it's not clear where the Online Etym Dict gets bræd as "flesh" in OE. OED has bræd as flesh in Proto-Germanic, but it is not attested in OE; its reflex brawn appears in Middle English, apparently via Old French. What does appear is a verb brædan 'to roast'. I don't know OE, so I don't know if it's plausible that the compound sweet+bræd could mean 'sweetroast'. On the other hand, OE bread had a meaning of 'morsel', and 'sweetmorsel' seems just as likely. --macrakis (talk) 16:53, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Ris de veau[edit]

We have a separate article on ris de veau. I don't see any reason for this; it is just the French term for veal sweetbreads, and WP is not a multilingual dictionary. I recommend merger into this article. --macrakis (talk) 13:29, 13 May 2010 (UTC)