LAMB’S HEAD

Greek  Easter means lamb  but  the least physically attractive part of the animal, the head,  is what is treated as unparalleled delicacy.
The tradition of serving lamb head  at feasts and special occasions is still a popular custom, particularly among islanders, though it often inspires disgust to several of the foreign guests.

heada

Popular items derive from it: jaws, tongue, cheeks, brain, eyeballs… 

head1

The  eyeballs once were offered to guests as an act of hospitality, and to children as a magical act within the framework of analogic magic,  intending to maintain good vision.

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6 thoughts on “LAMB’S HEAD

  1. Eyeballs for a good vision…
    Brain halves for… wisdom (well, these animals are considered wit?)
    Ears for hearing good news…sorry, these are missing…
    Tongue…for eloquence (if a lamb ever told a story to its sepherd to avoid slaugthering!)…
    Analogic magic! I just like this term!

    Mariana other ways to cook a lamb head?
    I know a simple orzo pasta soup or on the spit as your post, or simply grilled! Well, my grandmother once used to prepare it φρικασέ by itself, or the head included in the Easter mayiritsa stew.

  2. Interesting, so do you consume these delicacies at your home or is it just for the sake of cultural interest? I find that Lebanese too have an inordinate interest in offals and such and we used to eat sweetbreads and be told it was good for our brain, or some such thing.

  3. I grew up with the ‘whole’ animal presented at meals, such as pig and fish, so I’m not put off by the sight. The head is as edible as the haunch or belly or ribs but I understand that some can find it a bit distressing to look at one’s food and have it stare back!

  4. #Giorgo, as you said, you can use lamb’s head in a soup, in mageiritsa or cook it fricasse. You can bake it with orzo rice or with potatoes or just drizzle it with olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkle oregano and pepper and put it into the oven. Boiled head’s meat is used in salads too.

    #Joumana, yes we do consume lamb’s head. And there are some working class restaurants that actually serve lambs head.

    #Tracey, I understand that feeling. Food choices are more than just a matter of taste but involve familiar habits based often on culture.

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