Savour The Savannah – Five Bush Meats To Try In Africa

Zebra

Yes I know what you are going to say, isn’t this just a type of horse?  Well technically yes, but a delicious, delicious horse, and let’s face it we have been eating horse on the sly for years hidden inside microwave meals.

Zebra packs a serious punch, the texture is similar to beef and cooked in the same way.  Those who are not really into red meat may want to consider something further down this list as the distinctively strong flavour may be more than some people’s palates can appreciate.

Rating: ★★★

Tasty, but the flavour may be a bit too overpowering.

Oryx

The first of the antelopes that have made this list, and why wouldn’t they, their lean athletic bodies make for perfectly tender meat. Oryx is considered by many game hunters as the prize meat due to how good it tastes, but there is often argument as to whether the Scimitar Oryx (curly horned) or Gemsbok Oryx (straight horned) is best Once you have eaten Oryx you will look on the usual sources of red meat with disgust, they just cannot compete.

Although Oryx is endangered in many African countries, the population in Namibia is considered healthy and for this reason it is one of the best places to try it, straight from the savannah.

Rating: ★★★★★

Change up your regular red meat of choice for this delicious alternative.

Crocodile

I was a little nervous of trying this one, but I am not one to turn down a challenge.  It appeared before me like a large fillet of raw fish, and unfortunately things only got worse.  The taste is not unpleasant, a little fishy but not like any fish I have tried before.  The texture however was like bubble wrap filled with raw chicken, bursting in your mouth as your teeth chewed through each pustule of flesh.

Maybe the fillet I had was an unfortunate example of ill prepared crocodile, as I am aware many people consider it a delicacy, however based on the faces of those also brave enough to try it, I was not alone.

Rating: ★

Eat in a life or death situation only, even then double check there is absolutely nothing else available.

Ostrich

Chuck the flavourless white meat of a chicken aside and taste big game bird meat.  The dark red meat of the Ostrich has a strong gamey flavour but at half the fat content of beef, it lacks the creaminess that makes meat melt in your mouth and so is best served rare.  It still packs in plenty of flavour and is by far the healthiest on this menu.

Ecologically Ostrich is also a good choice, they are hardy enough to survive life in Alaska, and have the best feed to weight ratio of any land mammal.  Furthermore, the meat is a by-product of the Ostrich feather dusters, car seats and handbags.

Rating: ★★★

A healthy choice, and good for those willing to think about how this got to their plate.

Kudu

Cute antelope number 2.  No wonder they are hunted by the big cats, those twisted horns are protecting something seriously good.

Kudu is, in my opinion, the perfect red meat; stronger in taste than beef but not as overpowering as Zebra.  Imagine the best venison you have ever eaten, but but not quite so gamey a flavour.  Rich and unctuous, this is a real treat.

I consider that Kudu could easily replace beef steak on many restaurant’s menus and I am sure customers may welcome the change.  It is a little more gamey than beef but has a richer flavour, like venison.

Rating:  ★★★★★

Give me Kudu every day, preferably cooked on a Braai (barbeque) and served with slow cooked chakalaka and cheese stuffed squash!

Interested in trying all of these meats on one platter, no problem, head to Joe’s Beerhouse in Windhoek, Namibia and order the Bushman Sasanti.  If you can’t make it all the way to Namibia, there are several South African butchers popping up in UK cities, and exotic meats making it to the tables of worldwide restaurants.

 

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