Appears in
Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

palate the roof of the mouth of a vertebrate. In human beings, this is regarded as the organ of taste; hence expressions such as ‘she has a fine palate’. In certain other vertebrates, the palate is food for human beings. Beef palate (palais de bœuf in France, where it used to be popular—cooked in a white court bouillon and dressed like calf’s head) is nowadays almost unknown as a menu item.

Dried palate of water-buffalo is an ingredient in the kitchens of Laos (Phia Sing, 1981), but even there it is not always an ingredient of choice, being in some dishes a surprising substitute for the more expensive prawns which have to be imported from Thailand and would otherwise be preferred.