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Beef tongue is very high in fat, contributing up to 72% of its caloric content. Some countries, including Canada and specifically the province of Alberta, export large quantities of beef tongue.
Beef tongue is often seasoned with onion and other spices, and then placed in a pot to boil. After it has cooked the skin is removed. Pickled tongue is often used by the preparer because it is already spiced. If cooked in a sauce, it can then later be reused as a sauce for meatballs or any other food item.
Another way of preparing beef tongue is to scald it in hot water and remove the skin, then roast the tongue in an oven, using the pan drippings to prepare a gravy.
Beef tongue is used in North America as a major ingredient of tongue toast, an open face sandwich prepared for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and sometimes offered as an hors-d'oeuvre. It is widely used in Mexican cuisine, and often seen in tacos and burritos (lengua). In Puerto Rican cuisine, lengua al caldero, pot roast tongue, and lengua rellena, braised stuffed tongue, are both served with Pique criollo.
In Belgium and France, boiled beef tongue is often prepared with mushrooms in a Madeira sauce but can also be served with a vinaigrette. In Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine, Russian and Ukrainian cuisine, boiled tongue is often served with chrain. Beef tongue or veal tongue is also found in classic recipes for Russian salad. In Austria, Germany and Poland, it is commonly served either with chrain or with horseradish cream sauce. The traditional Berlin or North-German variant adds capers and vinegar to the sauce based on the broth with white roux.
Also, tongue is a part of Albanian, Argentine, Brazilian, Bulgarian (tongue with butter), British, French, Indonesian (semur lidah or beef tongue stew), Italian (typical dish in Piemonte and Liguria), Japanese, Korean (hyeomit gui), Mexican, Mongolian, Nicaraguan, Persian, Portuguese, Philippine, Romanian, Spanish, Turkish (as forms of fried, roasted, boiled and eaten cold in a sandwich), and Uruguayan cuisine.