Marrow-Minded

In November’s Editor’s Corner, David Steensma, MD, recounted the “absurdly exotic experience” of eating bone marrow in a café in Milan after speaking about marrow failure at a conference, and walked us through a brief history of the culinary delicacy. We received responses from readers who also appreciated the irony of eating bone marrow as a hematologist and offered their own experiences eating what chef Anthony Bourdain has called “God’s butter.”


What a nice article “On Eating Bone Marrow” by Dr. Steensma. I have sampled great bone marrow dishes at Brasserie Georges in Lyon, France, and I have fond childhood memories of my mother preparing a Filipino side dish of bone marrow mixed with warm rice and bananas on Sundays. Her special spaghetti was a family favorite because she added bone marrow to the sauce. So, to me, bone marrow dishes are comfort food.

Interestingly, my mother was a biochemist who studied cholesterol.

Emmanuel C. Besa, MD
Emeritus Professor of Medical Oncology
Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Kimmel Cancer Center
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, PA


I really enjoyed reading Dr. Steensma’s musings on eating bone marrow. I must say, I also have been fascinated by this food form, but am not the biggest fan as I have difficulty separating the gastronomy from the pathology. On a recent trip to Los Angeles, my family and I ate at a very popular restaurant called Bestia, where bone marrow on pasta was the restaurant’s specialty. While I’ve had bone marrow before, this time I found it to be particularly gritty. Do you suppose this is due to the trabeculae?

Thanks for an entertaining read!

Laurie H. Sehn, MD, MPH
Chair, Lymphoma Tumour Group
BC Cancer Agency
Vancouver, British Columbia

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