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All About Goat Meat

 

Goat meat is the meat of the domestic goat (Capra aegagrus hircus). It is often called chevon or mutton when the meat comes from adults, and cabrito, capretto, or kid when from young animals. While "goat" is usually the name for the meat found in common parlance, producers and marketers may prefer to use the French-derived word chevon (from chèvre), since market research in the United States suggests that "chevon" is more palatable to consumers than "goat meat". Cabrito, a word of Spanish origin, refers specifically to young, milk-fed goat. In the English- speaking islands of the Caribbean, and in some parts of Asia, particularly Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan
and India, the word “mutton” is often used to describe both goat and sheep meat, despite its more specific meaning (limited to the meat of adult sheep) in the UK, US, Australia and several other English speaking countries.


As of 2010 goat is eaten by more than 70% of the world's population, comprising 6% of red meat consumption worldwide. It is a staple of Africa, Asia and South/Central America, and a delicacy in a few European cuisines. The cuisines best known for their use of goat include African cuisine, Middle Eastern, North African, Indian, Pakistani, Mexican, and Caribbean. Cabrito, or baby goat, is the typical food of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico; in Italy it is called capretto.


Goat has historically been less commonplace in American, Canadian and Northern European cuisines but has become more popular in some niche markets, including those that serve immigrants from Asia and Africa who prefer goat to other meat. As of 2011 the number of goats slaughtered in the United States has doubled every 10 years for three decades, rising to nearly one million annually. While in the past goat meat in the West was confined to ethnic markets, it can now be found in a few upscale restaurants and purveyors, especially in cities such as New York and San Francisco. Bill Niman of Niman Ranch has turned to raising goats and he, along with other North American
producers, tends to focus on pasture-based methods of farming.Brady, Texas has held its Annual World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-Off annually since 1973.

Characteristics

Goat has a reputation for strong, gamey flavour, but can be mild depending on how it is raised and
prepared.Caribbean cultures often prefer meat from mature goats, which tend to be more pungent; the best meat comes from younger goats that are six to nine months old. Ribs, loins, and tenderloin goat meat are suitable for quick cooking, while other parts are best for long braising.Despite being classified as red meat, goat is leaner and contains less cholesterol and fat than both lamb and beef,and less energy than beef or chicken; therefore, it requires low-heat, slow cooking to preserve tenderness and moisture.