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Kangaroo and Other Exotic Meat

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 4 10
Kangaroo and other exotic meat
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Crocodile

Medical research has proven that crocodiles are precious from head to tail because their flesh, bones, scales and internal organs contain proteins and amino acids, high quality unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and a variety of elements that are essential to the human body. Crocodile meat is not only delicious, but also invigorates the body, enriches the blood, strengthens bones and muscles and removes the effects of moisture and other factors that cause disease. It is a great remedy to treat cough, asthma, rheumatism and diabetes.

The flavor of alligator meat is quite unusual for our everyday chicken-beef-pork palate. Perhaps we could say that this meat is the middle ground between fish and chicken. When cooking, we should avoid cooking crocodile meat for long periods of time. Since, apart from the tail, it is a very clean meat with a very low content in fat, you would dry up its juice and flavor. An essential rule to cook Australian meats to perfection is to let them rest a bit after being cooked.

Crocodile and buffalo should be kept covered and in a warm place after cooking for at least 5 minutes before eating. This will help the animal muscles relax and the difference will be quite noticeable on the palate.

Buffalo

Buffalos are ruminants native to Asia from where they were brought to Africa and Europe and then the Americas to countries like the United States of America, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.

As a food source, buffalo meat stands out from others in its class because on one hand, a liter of its milk has twice the solids when compared to cow's milk or goat milk and on the other, their meat is classified as premium quality.

Buffalo meat has a rich red meat similar to the bull’s, making it possible to cook it in many different ways, with excellent results on the barbecue, grilled, fried or roasted. And because it has a stronger flavor than veal or beef, you should marinate it a while before so that it acquires taste and texture.

A tip to get better results with the marinade is to avoid the use of acids such as lemon juice, white wine or port wine, as these ingredients dry off the meat and its natural juices. Instead, use olive oil, a few drops of sesame oil, herbs, ginger, garlic or lemon grass sticks. If you want to use sherry or other wines, and balsamic vinegar, add them only 5 minutes before cooking the meat, or better yet, add them when you're cooking the sauce for this dish.

Crocodile and buffalo meats are excellent quality products, they’re capable to enhance the most demanding restaurant menus and hotels, but unfortunately they are difficult to find, making them too expensive and therefore not that popular.

Emu

The Emu is a bird belonging to the group of the ratites. In this group we also find the ostrich, rheas, cassowaries, and others. They are birds that have adapted to terrestrial life using their well-developed and strong legs, as the only means of motion.

Emu meat is the choice for those looking after their health and who want a diet containing red meat low in fat and cholesterol. The emu has a very lean red meat (97% lean), which is similar to beef in taste and appearance. It has more iron, protein, vitamins A, C and B12 than beef and it is lower in cholesterol than chicken.

The top-notch chefs praise for its ability to absorb a variety of spices and seasonings when preparing gourmet dishes.

The vast majority of restaurants and 5 star hotels in Australia serve emu meat. The meat was so well received by the passengers of the airline Qantas that they decided to serve the meat in First Class during the whole 1994 year, when the menu is usually changed every 6 months.

The tenderness of the meat was compared in laboratories with prime beef steak.

Ostrich

The Ostrich is the largest bird that has survived to date. These birds have adapted to terrestrial life, their legs are well developed and strong.

His flesh and feathers have always been highly sought after, and therefore hunted to extermination in some places. So much so that in the nineteenth century farms were established in many parts of the world, South Africa and Australia becoming the leading breeders.

Ostrich meat has the same texture, flavor and color than beef: it is red, with a flavor so similar that it is difficult for the consumer to distinguish any difference and the texture is soft like beef, but is lower in cholesterol, fat and calories. Ostrich meat and beef have the same protein content, but the former has half the calories, 25% less cholesterol and only one eighth of the amount of fat.

Kangaroo

Kangaroo meat has excellent nutritional qualities, always contains very low amounts of fat, is high in protein and has a high content of iron and zinc. For all people who pay special attention to their diet, kangaroo provides an important source of low-fat meat and a very high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Some recent studies with persons of Aboriginal, European and Australian origins have shown that people who consume kangaroo meat more often (Aboriginal) have a lower risk of cardiovascular problems while preventing metabolic abnormalities such as diabetes and high percentages of cholesterol in the blood.

Research conducted by Professor Kerin O'Dea and colleagues, shows that 40% of the fat in kangaroo meat is long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid molecules which are believed to have an important role in reducing blood clots, improving blood supply and therefore reducing the dreaded heart attacks and thrombosis. Kangaroo meat has a fine texture and its muscle fibers are soft. The best way to prepare it is rare or medium rare to preserve its juices during and after cooking. Kangaroo meat’s taste is very similar to beef only slightly stronger.

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Comments

May 18, 2013 8:08pm
lizzypoptart
I don't know what it is, but in my heart I just can't see myself eating the more exotic meats out there. For some reason it just doesn't seem right, to me these are the more beautiful animals for us to care for and see that they don't get extinct. Maybe I'm old school and some animals to me are just off limits. Whats left, eating are own dog because in Asia they cook dogs for dinner. Where do we stop, if not now with the animals that we show in our zoo. In fact, one day they will say, well let's eat the ones that are getting too old to support or care for. I don't know it just bothers me, we have enough animals to eat leave the exotic ones alone. :(
May 19, 2013 7:40am
vicdillinger
I love 'roo and ostrich meats, though as a vegetarian for the past roughly ten years I haven't had either (though I have "cheated" and eaten a bison burger--first one in a decade--about a year ago). Love the exotic meats even though I no longer eat them. Good piece, too. A thumb.
May 19, 2013 8:21am
mariuski
@vicdillinger: thanks :)
@lizzypoptart: I love kangaroo in particular. As far as I know, they even have problems in Australia of overpopulation so it makes no harm to have controlled hunting. Although I respect personal beliefs on wild and farmed animals.
Jun 21, 2013 1:02pm
Marlando
Great article and interesting: I don't eat meat much at all anymore--but in the past have eaten Rat in Asia, horse meat is the U.S. and once had a giraffe steak. I've eaten turtle soup on Mexico and dines on ants and grasshoppers. While I once lived in Australia I never had kangaroo but I'd hop at the chance. 2 thumbs up and a rating from.
Jun 21, 2013 10:57pm
mariuski
Wow, rat! How was that? I've had rabbit and it's pretty good (and healthy), I guess it's something similar?
Thanks :)
Jun 22, 2013 6:28am
Marlando
Hello Mariuski: Yes, you are absolutely right. Rat and rabbit do have a similar taste. When I was a kid my parents kept both chickens and rabbits to eat. When I speak of rat though do not think in terms of American rats but big, Asian rats that live in fairly healthy environments of rice paddies and so forth.
Jun 23, 2013 12:32am
mariuski
Oh I see. Well I guess then it's pretty similar to rabbit, yes. I guess one of the things that annoyed me about the idea of eating rat is how small it is (there's no logical reason for this, but for smaller animals, like partridges, I tend to feel like I'm seeing the whole animal and it looks more like an animal, if that makes sense). So probably I would have less trouble eating it if I saw something bigger. Who knows, maybe I try it sometime!
Jun 22, 2013 6:28am
Marlando
Hello Mariuski: Yes, you are absolutely right. Rat and rabbit do have a similar taste. When I was a kid my parents kept both chickens and rabbits to eat. When I speak of rat though do not think in terms of American rats but big, Asian rats that live in fairly healthy environments of rice paddies and so forth.
Jun 22, 2013 8:55am
Wesman_Todd_Shaw
I've tried the alligator, buffalo, and emu. Of the three, I think the emu meat was probably the best. My opinion, of course.

Alligator, as you say, was very strange. I'm not sure how I'd describe it at all. Buffalo, I couldn't tell the difference between that and beef, but as it was very low fat, I did use some olive oil to cook it.
Jun 23, 2013 12:37am
mariuski
Wow you're an expert meat taster! Emu is great, I agree. And buffalo. Also, have you tried real buffalo mozzarella cheese? It's another world compared to cow milk mozzarella.
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