Is Goat the New Chicken?

By: Melaina Gasbarrino

We've all heard of goat cheese and stepping into the likes of goat milk, yogurt and butter, but which you may not have thought of is adding goat to your list of delicate dinner dishes. Goat meat is becoming more readily available in America as this healthy meat is now being stocked in Whole Foods across the country. With its popularity on the rise, it has us wondering if goat may just be the new chicken?

Taking a look at the facts, goat meat is actually one of the best types of meat out there. Mark Scarbrough, co-author of "Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese" describes goat as very tender and is considered 'a cross between dark-meat turkey and pork'. With a savory, rich flavor, it's best served in a moisture-rich cooking method to allow for the firm texture to soften into a whole bundle of goodness. Another key piece of information to note for all those environmentally friendly gurus, goat meat according to Rancher Bill Niman, is actually a 'great environmental choice because goats thrive on pasture that cows don't like - so its complementary to cattle ranching'.

Taking a deeper look into the nutritional benefits, goat has less than half the saturated and regular fats of other meats such as chicken, beef, pork or lamb. With over 10% less cholesterol, on average 50 less calories and with higher levels of iron, compared to other meats, goat meat contributes to healthy eating styles, no matter how it is prepared.

An initial concern with cooking goat meat is where to find it, and exactly how to prepare it to create the most perfect dish. Well not to worry, you can find this meat in boutique meat shops, or ethnic grocery stores. As in Mexican, Indian and Greek cuisines goat is considered traditional meat. When purchasing goat from any shop there are a few questions you'll want to ask, just to be certain you are getting the very best cuts of meat:

  •  What is the breed of goat?: The types of goat you want to purchase Boer, Kiko, Spanish, Savanna, or a cross between them. If none of the above, then ensure the animal was raised only for meat.
  • How old was the animal?: No older than a year old is the type you should purchase.
  • What was the weight of the animal?: The animal should weigh less than 60 pounds.
  • What type of goat was it?: The goat should be a kid, wether or doeling. If you purchase a nanny or billy goat the meat could potentially be tough and gamey.

When you master the art of answering these questions, you be able to travel through America and devour goat wherever you stop. After you have perfectly prepared your first goat dish, you will certainly be flourished with praise at how you delicately created a masterpiece of a dish.

Would you ever try goat meat? If so, how would you prepare it?

Melaina is from a small town in Ontario, Canada and as an avid environmentalist with a passion for focusing on healthy living. Having traveled the world and written about it every step of the way, she one day hopes to develop unique environmental educational programs for kids. 

Photos: stu_spivack & killerturnip

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