rare meat to eat

“Tastes like chicken” is one of the most popular cliché phrases that is used, abused, and misused when someone tries to describe an unfamiliar, nontraditional piece of meat, such as alligator, snake, or crocodile, to someone who has never tried it. has tried. According to several people I’ve talked to who have tried reptile meat, these creepy crawlers actually taste like chicken. But how would one describe the taste of Fox, Black Bear and Llama? How “exotic” are you willing to go when it comes to trying different types of meats? Would you order Lion, Porcupine, Bat or Hyena if it were on the menu? A veritable buffet of Moose Jerky, Yak Patties, Grilled Snake Skewers; Caribou Tenderloin and Kangaroo Steak are just a few of the bizarre foods featured in restaurants and supermarkets around the world.

A developing culinary movement and palate-changing experience taking the meat industry by storm is the marketing of exotic meats. Even if you’re already an avid carnivore, you’ll be surprised when you walk into a local restaurant and find animals typically found at the zoo and in the jungle featured on the menu, available to buy online or for sale in grocery stores. from your neighborhood. gourmet or specialized butcher shops. In the past, most exotic meats were not a part of American culture and cuisine, but long gone are the days when cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys were the only sources of meat.

From appetizers to main courses, exotic meats have become fashionable around the world, not only for their rich flavor, but also as healthy alternatives to traditional meats, since most exotic meats are lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories. According to Christian Griffin, founder, owner and operator of Exotic Meat Sales in San Diego, California, “In a world now trying to go ‘greener,’ people are turning to a healthier food solution, which is why sales of exotic meats. set to grow exponentially. Exoticmeatsales.com has a variety of customers ranging from health-conscious consumers to white-tablecloth restaurants offering a twist on the average plate. Restaurants are beginning to cook with exotic game as a means of attracting to a more health-conscious dieter. As the world tries to become more environmentally friendly, people are finding other resources for their dietary needs.”

Buffalo, elk, wild boar, and venison have been available for years, and while still considered “exotic,” the culinary landscape for exotic meats has changed dramatically. Armadillo meat is popular in certain parts of the US and Mexico and is often used as a substitute for chicken, beef, and pork. Yak meat is prevalent in Tibet, Nepal and India and also in the United States and is considered a healthy alternative to red meat. If you are visiting the Outback; Kangaroo is the preferred meat; Revered for its flavor and versatility and considered one of the best “heart-healthy” meats on the planet. “With kangaroo now being farmed around the world, and shown to be a leaner meat with less fat than beef, and several once-threatened species such as American bison and crocodile are making a comeback. enough to find their way onto restaurant menus, such meats are getting positive exposure, both in restaurants and in the media,” said Jerry Hopkins, best-selling author of Strange Foods and Extreme Cuisine. “There’s been a rise in interest in exotic foods in general, I think, as international travel has increased, exposing new people to new cuisines. Celebrity chefs who keep trying to outdo each other and the popularity of TV shows like Tony Bourdain’s also helped”. Hopkins said.

If you are interested in “safari” type meats, you can get a great variety in Africa, especially at the famous Carnivore Restaurant, known as “Africa’s Best Dining Experience”, located in Nairobi, Kenya. Allan Dixon, Group General Manager for Recreation Africa Leisure Industries, has been involved with Carnivore for the past 15 years and was also Executive Chef when the restaurant opened in 1993. “Marinated meat pieces are cooked over a charcoal fire open in the middle of the restaurant,” Dixon said. “A minimum of 15 different types of meat are offered during the meal. The menu is a set menu, however guests are not served as they would at a normal buffet. The cutters bring the different types of meat and cut them directly on your plate, it’s an ‘eat as much as you like’ concept and guests get the opportunity to eat and try more types of exotic meats, we serve the ‘regular’ types of meat eg beef, lamb, pork and chicken as well as a minimum of 5 “exotic” meats of kudu, zebra, gembok, impala, wildebeest, giraffe, buffalo, sable, warthog, rhino, hippo, elephant and crocodile, the most exotic being eland (antelope). and definitely a much healthier alternative to beef.It has virtually no fat, zero cholesterol, is very high in vitamins and minerals, and of course, it’s free range.Guests are often amazed at how flavorful and tender it can be. be the deer and the fact that the deer is much more It’s cheaper than beef makes it even more popular. I think diners are getting more adventurous in their eating habits and Venison offers a wonderful red meat alternative to beef; it adds a new dimension to the menu and is well priced year round. However, it is a bit cheaper during the “slaughter/hunt” season. Venison will definitely contribute to better margins and offer an affordable option for guests. The carnivore receives most of its meat from controlled slaughter programs; unfortunately, the culling of wildlife is necessary to ensure the survival of the species. Guests, both local and international, definitely enjoy the ‘curiosity’ factor.”

Kurobuta (Black Hog) Pork, raised without hormones or steroids, is valued for its versatility, excellent flavor and marbling. “Kurobuta pork, Griffin said, is the most prized pork in Japan and comes from the ancient breed of pig known as Black Berkshire. Pork from the pure eastern Black Berkshire strains, found in Japan , is considered the highest quality pork in the world.Reindeer (or caribou as it is known in North America) is common in Europe and in demand for its consistently flavorful and tender meat, its rich flavor and low fat. Caribou is considered by many to be a superior meat, just like venison and elk. It is fine in texture, low in fat, high in iron and an excellent source of protein.”

But one man’s meat is another man’s poison, literally. The Mariana fruit bat (also known as the flying fox) in Guam feasts on copious amounts of the cycad plant that is poisonous to humans, so if you have a craving for bat meat, apparently flying bats around the Indo-Pacific region are safe for human consumption. .

And I wouldn’t want to leave rodents off the list, though, Bill Brant of Gourmet Rodent in Florida, which specializes in selling rodents for reptiles and birds of prey, said, “Rats and mice are not sold for consumption. human in America,” but according to Hopkins, the rat is enjoyed in other parts of the world. “In much of Latin America, Asia, and parts of Africa and Oceania, rat remains a common hors d’oeuvre or main course today. In parts of China, it is still prepared in more than a dozen ways in popular restaurants.”

Today’s consumers have a loving relationship with all exotic foods and the demand for gourmet meats is increasing. In a world filled with excitingly diverse cuisines, today’s taste buds have become more sophisticated and are shaping the future of the food industry. The exotic meat trend may seem barbaric, but what is downright outrageous, bizarre, and unethical to some may be a delicacy to others. Extreme food is all the rage and when it comes to trying new foods, some are more adventurous than others, willing to experiment with unusual textures and flavors. Griffin believes that “taste and nutrition are two big reasons people make the switch from your average chicken breast” to “designer meats” or maybe the craving stems from hunger and survival, from culture. and education, an opportunity to challenge the senses, or just a belief in the old adage of “when in Rome,” which is exactly what my editor said when he tried the Alligator at Cochon’s restaurant in New Orleans. Cochon Restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Donald Link, nominated for Best Chef – Southeast Region by the prestigious James Beard Foundation. “The alligator is native to the South, especially Louisiana and Florida,” Link said. “We buy ours from various vendors who source it from local farms and from the game. Our Fried Alligator with Garlic Chili Aioli is fresh and delicious and is a very popular menu item. Initially I think our guests order it for curiosity and ends up being very well received, we see more and more diners interested in trying new things, especially in Cochon, where we offer so many options to the adventurous diner.”

Americans have been eating reptiles for years. Snake meat such as pythons, cobras, and rattlesnakes is light and tender and often considered for its medicinal value and aphrodisiac properties, and like alligator and crocodile, snakes are low in fat and calories and are considered the ultimate in the white meat category. “The rattlesnake has been a delicious source of meat in North America for centuries,” Griffin said. “This delicate white meat has wonderful flavor, not to mention a hint of attitude.” bamboo”, is a popular meat in Central and South America, throughout the Caribbean, Paraguay, Mexico and Brazil, but the idea of ​​eating Geico Gecko is just too weird!

But as Jerry Hopkins said, “What is considered repulsive to someone in one part of the world is simply considered lunch in another part of the world.”

Exotic meat marketing is big business, and this growing fad has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Even with the cost and controversial and ethical issues surrounding this part of the industry, the trend is unlikely to abate any time soon. Today’s consumers have realized that instead of a normal meal, they can find a unique and palatable culinary experience by eating exotic. As consumers move toward a healthier lifestyle, as they become more familiar with exotic meats through increased travel, the influence of immigrants, cooking and travel shows, and celebrity chefs who They present a variety of recipes and foods from around the world, along with their own curiosity. and food experimentation, exotic meats will continue to transform our culinary landscape from typical, predictable and ordinary to extraordinary. Christian Griffin asks, “Are you a game?”

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Family owned and operated since 2006, Exoticmeatsales.com offers retail portioned items at wholesale prices.

Bats and beets, silkworms and stewed prunes, scorpions and shrimps, flamingos and custard, ostrich and okra: what we eat and what we don’t eat is largely a matter of habit, history, and geographical circumstance.” Jerry Hopkins; Strange Foods.

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