When it comes to the rarer meats available to the consumer, the term ‘exotic’ very much depends on the individual. For some, exploring the world of game with guinea fowl, pheasant and venison is stepping outside their normal shop, but as what was once deemed speciality meat becomes more popular and mainstream, there are more types of ‘exotic’ meats for sale.
Whist it would be a brave company that marketed itself as an ‘exotic butcher’, we have more and more customers incorporating a variety of rare meats in their counters, so here is the rundown of our best exotic meats for you to try:
Also known as Buffalo or American Buffalo, bison is similar to beef in its flavour and protein content, but it is leaner, lower in calories and saturated fat. Bison is more likely to graze in pasture than be grain-fed like a lot of cattle, so it also wins points for sustainability. Commonly sold in steaks, butchers can use this exotic meat to create alternatives to popular products including burgers and sausages.
Often seen as another alternative to more traditional red meats, camel has the edge over beef and lamb due to its lower fat, cholesterol and higher iron content. One of the best tasting exotic meats, lean cuts are often sold as steaks, while others are ideal for use in curries and casseroles. It is also an excellent source of vitamin B, calcium and phosphorous.
As with all the exotic meats so far, crocodile is low in fat and high in protein, but it is the texture and taste that surprises many people who buy exotic meats. Crocodile meat is exceptionally tender – almost juice – with a taste similar to chicken and a texture many would associate with a large fish, which makes sense when you think about their lifestyle.
Rich in flavour and protein, low in fat and known for being tender and succulent, llama meat has often been referred to as Argentina’s culinary secret – that’s until an exotic meat company took it international and it became one of the most searched for exotic meats online. Often compared to game, the flavour is somewhere between beef and lamb.
Probably the most widely recognised and tried in our list of exotic meats, the flavour and texture of boar has the similarity to pork you would expect, but with a more intense flavour. Due to its diet from woodland foraging including berries and grasses, it has a more sweet and nutty flavour and darker appearance. It can be roasted in joints, diced for casseroles and makes for delicious sausages.
So whilst the many types of exotic meats don’t stray too far from the expectations of produce from the butcher’s counter, they are taking both flavour and health benefits to the next level.