If you’re a meat lover and enjoy trying different types, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll tell you more about the most delicious meats in the world and introduce some tasty game and exotic meats you’ve heard less about (or not).
I’ve tried more types of meat than the average person. But the first time I had lamb I thought it was the best thing I’d ever eaten. While I have since had cuts of meat that are right up there with that experience, I just had to put it at #1 on this list.
Lamb meat is obtained from young lambs aging under one year—usually between 5 to 12 months. It’s quite tender in texture as the muscle fibers aren’t fully developed at that age. And its fatty nature makes the meat so popular, especially for roasting.
Roasting lamb will add some smoky flavor, which blends well with the natural, pastoral taste of the meat.
Yes, they’re cute, but I bet once tasted, you’ll fall in love with the taste of their meat.
Rabbit is usually considered game, and rabbiting (hunting rabbits) is very common. About 37% of hunter-consumed meat during the hunting season came from rabbits.
However, today they’re raised and bred as livestock, mainly for fur, meat, and wool production. This branch of agriculture is called cuniculture, and rabbits produced in such a way are classified as poultry.
Rabbit’s meat is very nutritious and lean (have you seen how fast they run around?) The wild ones are leaner with almost no fat content. Rabbit meat tastes almost like chicken but with a stronger meaty flavor. You can prepare it just like chicken and make different dishes out of it.
3. Frog (You Eat the Legs)
Many reading this might do a double-take or think I’m crazy for including this on the list. However, this is definitely one of those “don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it” situations.
And no, it does NOT taste like chicken. It has its own unique flavor and texture. Frog legs taste like frog legs.
Now, if you decide to try this delicacy only cook and eat the legs. The rest of it is pretty much inedible, from what I could tell when we caught and ate them.
This video does a pretty good job of showing you how to prepare and cook them:
I know, boring right? But no one can deny the popularity of pork. It’s the most widely consumed kind of meat around the globe (36%), according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Generally, pork meat is quite juicy due to the fat accumulation in its muscle fibers. However, each part of its body has a different texture.
For example, its upper back leg muscles are stiffer because they’re engaged in movement and have a lot of fiber. On the contrary, pig’s belly muscles contain lots of fat and are juicier. Although pork’s texture is somehow similar to beef, the taste stands out.
It’s always delicious, no matter if you fry it, bake it, or grill it.
One can describe the pork’s overall taste almost as sweet, but it may differ based on your cooking method. For instance, while smoked pork in the form of bacon or ham will be smoky and salty, cooked pork will give you a lump of soft meat. And overcooking makes it chewy.
Its taste also depends on how and from where it’s cut. If it’s cut with a lot of fat, it’ll have a stronger flavor. If your cut is leaner, it may taste a bit like poultry meat.
You can also use a variety of delicacies with pork meat, like bacon or ham.
Duck is another popular poultry, especially in East Asian countries like China. Surprisingly, unlike other types of poultry, its meat is red (but classified as white meat).
Ducks are of two types: wild and farmed ducks. While the wild ones are considered tastier due to their varied diet, farmed ducks are fatter and have more tender and juicy flesh.
Most of a duck’s fat is stored in its skin; that’s why people usually roast it, so the skin gets crispy. The good news is, this fat won’t make you sick if consumed moderately.
Beef stands in the third position of the most consumed meats in the world (24%). It’s available in almost every nation, from East Asia, the Middle East, and West Asia to Africa, Australia, and America.
Depending on the age of cows getting slaughtered, the meat quality differs. Veal meat is widely popular and considered to be the best quality of beef. It usually comes from male dairy calves aging 16 to 18 weeks which can weigh about 450 pounds (204.12 kg).
Some describe its texture as velvety because it’s very soft. The veal has no fat and is more tender than beef, so it’s easier to digest. That’s why it’s usually used for making steaks.
On the other hand, the older beef texture is firmer and has a stronger flavor. It also contains a fair amount of fat.
Depending on the cut and your preparation method, its final taste differs. You can make different dishes with it in various ways. Baking keeps the inside tender and juicy while grilling or frying beef gives it a smoky flavor.
Chicken is also widely eaten around the globe. Regardless of where you live, it’s readily available at low prices due to mass production.
Chicken’s white meat remains somewhere between soft and firm. Generally, males (roosters) have stiffer meat than females (hens).
Interesting Fact: In some parts of the world, males get castrated at a young age and are called capons. This process leads to a lump of soft and delicious chicken meat, which is very popular.
Among the game meats, deer are always high-ranked, with some deer species remaining at the top of the chart. Chital or axis deer, which is native to India but found in Texas and Hawaii, have the tastiest wild meat in the world.
Venison, or the meat from white-tailed deer, is also very popular among hunters. Its lean texture and low calories make it a very healthy option for those on a diet. Elk is another desirable meat for hunters due to its lean nature. However, you’ve got to add fat if you want to make burgers with it.
Another game meat, buffalo, has gained much popularity in today’s restaurants around the country.
The first time I had it, I didn’t care for it. I thought it was dry and kind of tasteless. Luckily, I decided to give it another go a few years later. It turns out that it was just poorly seasoned and cooked the first go-around.
It’s almost like beef but more tender, sweeter, and lighter in taste. Due to its high iron content, buffalo meat has a unique flavor that people describe as mineral or earthy. It’s much leaner than beef but doesn’t taste gamey at all.
Buffalo meat is best cooked at low/medium temperature. It cooks slowly but faster than beef because of the low fat content.
One of the best-tasting fish in the world, salmon is obtained from a large fish that weighs up to 30 kilograms (66.14 lbs).
It’s very popular in the US due to its high nutritional value, especially Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamin D.
Salmon’s natural orange or pinkish color results from carotenoid pigments (mostly astaxanthin and canthaxanthin). The astaxanthin is found in krill and shrimp, and since salmon’s diet largely depends on these aquatic animals, it turns into their body’s orange hue.
Like most fish, salmon is tender in texture but slightly firmer. Regarding the taste, many describe it as oily but different from other types of fish.
Chinook or King Salmon has the lightest fishy flavor among different salmon types and is considered the most delicious (also having the most considerable fat content). But, the Atlantic Salmon is quite the contrary and tastes absolutely fishy.
11. Alligator and Crocodile
Gator tail! Probably my second most favorite meat behind frog legs. As you can tell, I grew up in Florida and learned to love a big variety of meats from a young age.
While it seems unusual and even unpleasant to bite on a reptile, alligator and crocodile meats are becoming more popular. They’re high-quality protein with low fat, a great option for keto diet followers.
The exotic meats are white and have a mild taste like chicken but with some fishy flavor. Their texture is tender and juicy, especially the cuts from their tail.
Cooks usually grill or deep-fry the meat like chicken, but you can prepare it differently. Some make meatballs with alligator or crocodile meat or even serve it as an appetizer.
Kangaroos are a symbol of Australia, and its natives are fully familiar with the idea of eating one. For most of us, it might feel strange to eat a kangaroo; but believe me, it’s worth trying.
Kangaroo’s meat is gamey and lean but very tasty. It’s not like chicken at all and has a stronger flavor than beef. But it can get chewy without proper cooking. Due to its super lean and low-fat content, overcooking or undercooking makes it tough.
Exotic Meats and Game vs. Traditional Store-Bought Meats
Meat has always been crucial in the human being’s diet, and according to scientists, it has played a significant role in increasing our lifespan and brain evolution. It provides lots of energy and nutrients like protein and fat, essential for cell reproduction and maintenance.
A common question among meat eaters is whether wild game meats are better than store-bought meats in terms of nutrition and health benefits.
Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician and diet expert from CNN, says wild meat is generally healthier than industrial meat since they don’t receive any hormones or antibiotics. They consume raw and fresh food and can add more nutrients to your diet.
Other than protein, these include minerals like iron or vitamins like B12, B6, B2, and niacin. Besides, wild animals are escaping from predators night and day, and this active life makes their saturated fat content less than that of factory-raised animals. That’s why they’re generally leaner than what you buy in a supermarket.
Unlike what laymen often think, game meats aren’t tougher than factory-farmed meats. It all comes down to what animal you choose and how you manage to cook it. Never increase the oven’s temp to lower the cooking time of your meat as this increases its carcinogens, no matter if it’s wild or factory-farmed.
Thanks for reading!
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Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
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