OPINION — There are as many opinions about which animals offer the tastiest meat as there are hunters in the forest.
Once an animal is on the ground, how it is prepared dramatically changes the taste and quality of the meal.
My lovely wife has her say on which market employs the best butchers and each consumer prefers their own level of fat/lean balance in the marbling of each cut.
Among those who eat meat, there are some who claim that they can tell the quality of the fodder fed to the animal: “This deer was fed on corn.” While another perhaps “lived on sapwood and sage.” .
I prefer pronghorn to any other game on the plains.
I know others who consider antelope inedible.
If you were served a poorly prepared meal as a child and asked to clean your plate, you may have sworn off a variety of dishes, cuts of meat, or cooking styles.
Barbeque has legions of fans, culinary competitions at fairs, dozens if not hundreds of books and recipes that talk in detail about the preparation of cures, the duration and temperature of the heat applied, and the number of turns allowed for each portion.
do you rest your flesh
Or is it best served steamed?
I love the tasty white meat of rabbit and squirrel, dishes I’ve served my college roommates to rave reviews.
But the cooking police in my home kitchen banned them.
Raised by the ranchers’ wisdom that proclaimed that only the poorest ranchers could not afford to eat their own beef, rodent meat was considered perhaps the greatest admission that poverty was afoot.
It was never about taste, but about the intellectual principle that eating certain foods was an admission of economic failure.
If you were to eat a squirrel, would you consider rats?
I admit, to the great discomfort of my students, that I would.
I carry a genetic memory of a great famine.
Carrying a few drops of Irish blood, like two-thirds of Americans tested, will prompt you, too, to prepare for starvation.
The potato famine devastated the population of this country, millions emigrated to America and a million more were left to starve.
Meat has always been one of the greatest luxury foods.
I still have my family’s last ration cards from World War II.
If the following obese generations could see the meager intake allowed in times of conflict, they would be amazed.
The fact that wealthy nations can afford to dump their grain into their livestock and fuel tanks makes them the envy of the less wealthy.
Cuban adults lost 15% of their body weight in the 1990s as Russian economic support waned.
Wars have always focused on disrupting supply chains; from food to fuel, from access to information to the ability to move freely.
Propagandists were tasked with distorting reality to reflect their political goals.
Lobster and pork bellies were once only served to slaves, but savvy marketers changed their perspective.
Until the recent Russian invasion, Ukraine was the second largest grain exporting nation in the world behind the USA.
On a recent road trip to Kentucky, I was amazed at a thousand miles of cornfields, enough to seemingly feed the world.
But agents of change are emerging that will limit the cheap transfer of these foods between nations.
“Victory Gardens” was a slogan used to motivate families to become more independent. Hunting was seen as a continuation of this ethos.
The recent explosion in popularity of backyard chicken coops, a 758% surge in Amazon-related search terms, seems to demonstrate a nationwide awareness that our long-standing peaceful global coexistence and interdependence may be ebbing away.
As a hunter-gatherer I have expanded my gardens and bought Scottish Highland cattle cow and calf pairs for each grandchild.
Scotch Highland, the same breed run by the Queen of England, is hardy and able to weather our winter blizzards while producing a grass-fed marbling of their beef that has won national carcass quality championships.
Their meat was rated as the most tender and low in fat and cholesterol.
I’ve never been a meat fanatic, but I can’t wait to compare highland beef to prairie antelope.
The Speirs family has owned and operated Crow Creek Wildlife Management Service since 1996.
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