14 October 2008

Fancy Eating Mutton? It Is Not Goat Meat - BERNAMA COM

August 14, 2007 10:45 AM

Fancy Eating Mutton? It Is No Goat Meat
By Soraya Jamal

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 (Bernama) -- For some food connoisseurs, it is kind of a surprise when a number of them can be wrong when they talk about "mutton".Contrary to common understanding, mutton is not goat meat but the meat of a sheep that has outlived its wool-bearing days. In another words, mutton is the meat of old sheep.In the western countries, goat meat is often called "chevon". If the meat is from young goats, then it is known as "cabrito or capretto".Many people do not realise that some 63 percent of the red meat consumed daily worldwide is actually goat meat with Australia being the major world supplier of quality goat meat.In Malaysia, goat meat consumption is not so high. This is due to two factors.The first is that consumers have no idea where to buy the goat meat. Most supermarkets only sell mutton or lamb. The second factor is the misperception that goat meat contains high saturated fat and cholesterol, therefore it is bad for the heart.MISPERCEPTION ON GOAT MEATThis wrong perception has led Malaysians to shun goat meat, which is quite the opposite of mutton.The American Heart Association recommends goat meat to people with heart-related problems. It is rich in high quality protein with a healthy fat ratio.According to the managing director of Majestic Nature Boer Farm Sdn Bhd, Yeow Joo Kwang, the common misperceptions about goat meat are that it is mutton, contains high level of saturated fat and cholesterol, has strong smell and only good for curries.Unlike lamb or mutton, goat meat has far less saturated fat and its flavour is favoured by many as compared to beef and sheep meat.The molecular structure of goat meat is different and as a result goat meat is more easily digested. It is ideal for health-conscious person.Comparatively, goat meat contains higher iron and potassium content with a low sodium level. It is leaner and has less calories than beef, pork and even skinless poultry.All the essential amino acids are present in goat meat with no hormonal, chemical and bacterial contamination.SUPERIOR TASTENo other goat meat comes near to the Boer goat of South Africa in terms of flavour and overall palatability. It is for this reason that the meat has enjoyed high demand countries like Australia and the United States.Boer goats also have thicker bones than other goats, and because of their double muscling, they have more meat than their cousins.Good quality goat meat is the product of multiple factors. It begins with the quality of the stock.The age when the goat is harvested has an important bearing on the overall palatability and the nutritional value of the meat. Boer Valley meat goats are slaughtered when they are 8-12 months old.At this age, the goat's meat is high in nutritional value, yet low in saturated fats and cholesterol. The meat is also most tender and juicy at this age.Another factor is the fat content. When the fat is low, the meat does not have a strong smell which is common among Billy goats and mutton.Boer Valley goats feed on a diet which is 100 percent organic -- Napier grass that is grown at the company's 20 acre-farm located in Tapah.The diet is supplemented by grain concentrates made from palm kernel, soya hull and maize to ensure that they receive the optimum intake of fibres and proteins.Apart from these, goats need adequate minerals in their diet. These supplements are readily available from the clean mineral rich water that feeds the Lata Kinjang waterfall near Tapah.VERSATILEMost people find goat meat to have a rather strong smell. When cooked in curries, the spices used hide the smell.Malays and Indian consume more goat meat than the Chinese. The Chinese are not so adept at cooking curries, and with the Boer goat meat, the "signature" smell is eliminated.The meat makes the best Indian-style curries and when roasted, its aroma and taste is simply divine.Yeow said once Malaysians understand that goat meat is a healthier alternative to the other meats they have been taking, the demand will increase.As compared to pork and beef, goat meat is popular in the market as it has no religious restrictions. Anybody in the society can consume this meat, he said.With Malaysians' liking for good food, it is a matter of time before restaurants come out with new recipes and promotions for goat meat, particular the Boer goat meat.In terms of cooking, goat meat is very versatile with a lot of cooking styles.-- BERNAMA

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