Jamaican Cow Cod Soup – The Strangest Thing I Have Ever Eaten

 One day I went to a party on a Saturday night, a Jamaican party to be precise. Reggae music was blasting. Children were running around. Women in the kitchen cooking and chatting. Some of the men playing dominoes, others watching cricket on TV; all of them eating something called “cow cod soup”.

a photo of a bull
Photo by Cha Davis

“What is cow cod soup?” I asked out of curiosity. “Can I have some?”

I was in the kitchen with the other women and all eyes turned on me.

“That soup is for the men dem. Not for you missy.”

No one can tell me not to eat something so I made the decision to find out what it was and cook it myself if necessary. I found out that Cow Cod Soup has long been thought of as an Aphrodisiac. It contains the cod or penis of a bull and includes bananas; scotch bonnet pepper and other ingredients. Eating the genitals of the bull has been thought to make males more virile. I had to find out what it would do for a woman.

It baffled my mind as to why it was called cowcod when it actually came from a bull, but Jamaicans make their own rules.

On Monday morning I asked my Jamaican friend at work for the recipe and inquired as to where I could find cowcod. He looked at me quizzically but was kind enough to write the recipe on a piece of paper and give me the address of a Jamaican grocery nearby.

It felt weird going to the store and asking for bull penis like I was doing something illegal. I asked the butcher to wrap it in a brown paper bag just in case I was spotted.

Once home, I was afraid to touch the “cod”, it sat on the kitchen counter for a while, my eyes staring at what looked like an extra long chicken neck with smooth skin and no bones.

The recipe was followed carefully and the final result was rather delicious. The cowcod tasted and had a similar texture to pig feet. The soup had plenty of vegetables and noodles so it was also filling. It was good, no doubt about that.

After finishing the first plate though, the brain took over the stomach and started thinking about what my body had just ingested. It did not seem right. A line had been crossed. The rest of the soup was given away.

Maybe this soup is really only meant for the boys.

 Cow Cod ( Bull Penis) Soup Recipe by Bovel Anderson




Beef soup meat/bone

Cow foot (optional)


Chocho (also called christophene, chayote)

Yellow Yam

Flour (if adding dumplings)

Coco (Malanga, Yautia, Cocoyam, Tannia)


1 pack each Grace cock soup chicken noodle soup

2 stalk green onions

Scotch bonnet pepper


1 onion




In a pressure cooker place, cowcod cut into small pieces, beef, cow foot, and all the vegetables (peeled), including the green onions, onion, and a little salt. Pressure cook until tender, about ½ hour or more if needed.

Empty into a bigger pot, put back on fire, add water as needed and bring to a boil. Add yam, dumplings, etc. Cook until the soup starts to thicken. Add noodles, adjust seasoning, and stir constantly until done.

For more awesome art and photos from Cha Davis, check out:

28 thoughts on “Jamaican Cow Cod Soup – The Strangest Thing I Have Ever Eaten

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