|IM conversation with Hubby|
Although, my initial research on the topic was surprising . . . sweetbreads aren't what I always suspected them to be. For whatever reason or misinformation, I always thought sweetbreads were the doo-hickeys and thing-a-ma-jiggers of poor castrated beasties. I'm happy to have discovered that I was wrong on that particular . . . uhm . . . point.
Prized by gourmets throughout the world, sweetbreads are the thymus glands of veal, young beef, lamb and pork. There are two glands — an elongated lobe in the throat and a larger, rounder gland near the heart.
Who first called them sweetbreads? Probably the first bonehead who thought it would be a good idea to eat the thymus glands of a critter. I'll bet it was a poorly treat cook in a feudal manor serving scraps to his master and giving them a palatable name. . . .
Wikipedia says: The word "sweetbread" is first attested in the 16th century, but the etymology of the name is unclear. "Sweet" is perhaps used since the thymus is sweet and rich tasting, as opposed to savory tasting muscle flesh. "Bread" may come from brede 'roasted meat' or from the Old English brǣd ('flesh' or 'meat').
I'm sure they're delicious. Whatever . . . yuck.