I ate Zebra yesterday. A Zebra burger to be exact. It didn’t taste like Chicken, or stripy, or anywhere near as exotic as I wanted it to. So the excitement and anticipation I ventured forward with was quickly tempered by the fact it just tasted like meat. I couldn’t even tell you it tasted like chicken.
Other than the fact I can now declare to my youngest daughter that I have eaten Zebra, to which she will surely be horrified – due clearly to the idea that a stripy-horse-come-donkey is the cutest of animals – it has prompted me to assess the other meats I have eaten over the years.
The range is not as extensive as I expect other peoples might be, but…
Beef – the staple red meat of the masses. I’m not going to pursue the act of saying how many different dishes can be concocted and enjoyed using beef, as so many involve sauces etc. But for that straight meat taste, you can’t beat a good steak or a roasting joint. Cooked properly – ie, with plenty of pink in the middle – a quality piece of beef, succulent and tender, can be simply brilliant. My recent favourite is rib-eye steak.
Lamb – another one for the masses. Again, there are so many dishes that we can make with Lamb. A joint of lamb or lamb cutlets are just beautiful. A stronger taste and jucier meat than beef, lamb is perhaps my favourite meat at the moment. Additionally, unlike beef, I find that the taste of lamb even when cooked in a curry, actually adds something real and flavoursome to overall dish. As a big fan of curry, this is perhaps why lamb is my favourite. Lamb is also the main ingredient of my favourite indian starter – shami kebabs!
Pork – I think pork is the most different tasting of the mass market meats. I might occasionally have gammon for an evening meal, but ultimately that is just thick bacon – and essentially, I do class pork as a breakfast meat. For the best bacon and sausages, I always go to our local butcher (every Saturday morning, after I’ve dropped eldest daughter off at work), where I purchase 6 rashers of dry-cured bacon and 6 traditional pork sausages. I love Saturday mornings!
Springbok – I think this was a bit more chewy than some meats. It wasn’t as strong-tasting as I’d expected. However, it was in a stir-fry type dish, which makes it a bit more difficult to identify. It was nice though.
Rabbit – I cooked it wrong. The taste was nice, but I cooked it nowhere near long enough so it was remarkably chewy. If you’re going to have rabbit, make sure you find out how to cook it properly first.
Venison – I’ve had soup and steak on a couple of occasions. Enjoyed both very much. It has that stronger ‘game’ taste that I find so much richer than beef.
Wild Boar – I first has this in the Wild Boar restaurant in Portugal. It is quite possibly the best steak I have ever had! If you’re reading this post using a laptop, imagine your keyboard is your portion of chips and your screen is the wild boar steak – the portions were that big. It had a really nice flavour, sort of a cross between pork and beef. I’ve had wild boar since, and it wasn’t quite the same as when I experienced it in Portugal.
Pidgeon – As soon as I think Pidgeon, it conjures up images of scratty little birds you see in town centres. However, I has this at the Coniston Hotel, in Coniston (very nice place to stay and magnificent food) and it was delicious. The woodland pigeons look a bit plumper, cleaner and, erm…appetising! The two small breasts I had for my starter were delicious; again having a ‘game’ like taste, but really subtle. NOT like chicken. I highly recommend. As an aside, I see that recently there has been some furor in Argentina, where a politician suggested using pigeon for school meals; the idea being that it would serve as cheap meat (government savings) whilst also reducing a 600,000,000 pidgeon pest problem. He has been suspended! Now, if the pidgeon was going to taste the same as I’ve had, I can’t see the problem, but then I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much if I envisaged it was one of those town centre ones.
Frogs Legs – Yay, “it tastes like chicken”. Well, not quite, but nearly. This was one of the weirdest things I’ve tried. The meat really was very similar to chicken, just maybe a bit chewier. The weird thing was that I wasn’t expecting it to be served the way it was. I basically got the whole legs, as if they had just been cut off at the bottom of the spine (do frogs have spines?); anyway, I could pick up the legs in one piece by holding them by the ‘spine bit’ that connected them. Very nice!
Zebra – Now, I’ve only had a Zebra Burger. A Zebra steak might well taste very different, have more flavour; I would always get more enjoyment and a real taste of meat from a steak rather than a burger. I was disappointed. I wanted it to taste stripy. It didn’t.
- Camel, kangaroo meat tempt Toronto taste buds (cbc.ca)
- New vegan ‘chicken’ and a promise of authentic texture and taste… (veganmyway.tumblr.com)
- Fake Meat So Good It Will Freak You Out (slate.com)
- Beyond meat: The most real faux chicken ever (dailyherald.com)
- Goat Meat (theepochtimes.com)