When we did our first “Try This,” I solicited people willing to try foods for the first time. I got a lot of interesting responses, mostly foods that folks should've tried by now but hadn't. But today's introduction is to a dish the majority of you will not have tried.
The dish is bone marrow, and its newest application is the Bone Marrow Luge.
That's right, bone marrow. Erica Millar, of Norman, wanted to try it, and as luck would have it, Ludivine Restaurant, 805 N Hudson Ave., serves bone marrow practically every day — and that's saying a lot for a restaurant that routinely changes its menu.
Chef Russ Johnson explained bone marrow is one of the world's oldest dishes, serving as a prehistoric power bar for hunters of yore.
“It was really easy to remove bones from a recent kill or a find, toss 'em in your satchel and keep moving,” Johnson said. “Then all they had to do was start a fire, toss the bones in, let 'em roast for a while, then pull 'em out and crack 'em open with a rock or something.”
The marrow runs through the center of a bone like pigs in a blanket. Ludivine's bones are sawed lengthwise, roasted and sprinkled with some finishing salt. They are served with candied shallot jam, whole-grain mustard, pickled shallots, a little bread and a spoon.
When you're done, you can take a ride on the bone luge, which consists of pouring a half-ounce of rye whiskey and a half-ounce of sherry down the empty canal and into your mouth. Rushing down the canal, the spirits pick up salt and residue from the roasted bones for a satisfying finish to the experience.
Millar, who works for the Norman Chamber of Commerce in her spare time from being a wife and mom, was delighted with the result. Her husband, Kyle, tried the dish for the first time, too, and was equally satisfied.
After finishing the marrow, Erica handled the bone luge with aplomb while Kyle plodded to clunky completion in two takes. Both recommended the marrow and the luge.
The only real hurdle for bone marrow is the idea that you're cleaning out the center of the bone. When my family assured me the practice was gross, I reminded them eating the marrow is efficient and hardly different from eating any other part of an animal.
The consistency of bone marrow isn't unlike foie gras, with some of the same richness. Don't get me wrong: Bone marrow is not foie gras, but it's the closest comparison I could think of.
Ludivine serves two bone halves and the condiments as an appetizer, which is perfect. It's rich enough that a full meal might be excessive, but it's hearty enough to make one consider sharing an entree or dessert rather than eating one alone.
If you're interested in bone marrow and the luge, call Ludivine at 778-6800 for reservations.
If there is a dish you've never tried or should have, or an exotic dish served locally you'd like to try for the first time and are willing to sample on camera, email email@example.com or call 475-3155.
Next up will be Melanie Norris' first go-round with sushi.