Monday, April 27, 2009

what's so foreign about goat?


Last week, I got an excited text message from my man saying that he was enjoying curried goat for lunch. How exciting! You know I love anything with a beard, so I have to admit I was quite jealous of his adventurous meal. (He actually took a picture for me, but it looked like brown lump covered in goo. Since I am trying to encourage goat consumption, I won't include it in this post.)

A few weeks ago, the New York Times ran an article on the subject. Gosh, I am such a naive American! The article informed me that goat is the most widely consumed meat in the world, basically a staple of most major cuisines other than our own. Goat has been a part of the Middle Eastern diet for thousands of years as it falls under the Law, being a member of the "split hoof" category of animals.


Why don't we like it here? Are we adverse to the health benefits it provides-- being lower in fat than chicken and higher in protein than beef? Or are we judgemental towards the animal, regarding goat as a scavenger who snacks on tin cans, shoes, or itchy urban hill grass? Fortunately, our perception of the goat-diet is inaccurate, but even if it weren't, I may rather dine on something that ate a leather boot for lunch rather than corn feed that has been deemed inedible for humans and isn't much better for animals... But their ability to survive off of whatever they find on the land has made them resilient and prevalent in less controlled agricultural areas.

So, why do we have to venture to unknown Indian or uber-trendy urban eateries to find goat on the menu? Perhaps for now, we'll have to request it at our local butcher or ethnic market and try to make something at home. Here are some ideas from some of the major goat-eating regions:

Goat tacos (because everything tastes good in a taco)
Curry goat
Goat ragu
But since I've never had goat, I am inclined to try a recipe that highlights the meat instead of hiding it under a heavy sauce or in a tortilla (come on, you'd think goat meat were an eggplant looking at some of these recipes!)
Grilled goat

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