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Foodstuff: Camel Meat

Camel Meat 1

A little while ago, one of our local stores was offering several different types of exotic meat for sale, all packaged by a Canadian company called ‘Blue Mountain Fine Foods’ based out of Thornbury, Ontario. I grabbed several types for later examination and the first I tried was the rather interesting sounding ‘Moroccan Camel’. I am glad I got to try it, of course, but I found the experience a little disappointing for a couple of different reasons…

Camel Meat 2

Here you can see the meat after being removed from the package, along with a little I cooked up without added seasoning in order to do a taste test.

First, I was a bit disappointed that the meat was ground and prepared as hamburger patties. I knew this was the case when I bought it (especially as the box uses the word ‘burger’ on the front), but I would rather have bought a single piece of meat and had the opportunity to grind it, or not, myself. The real disappointment came, however, once I opened the plastic bag inside the box and was greeted with the perfume of coriander seed… I hadn’t noticed at first, but the ingredients list on the side panel of the box clearly indicates the use of dehydrated garlic and ‘spices’. Also, I was a bit dismayed to see, lamb is also included with the camel… so much for my hope of experiencing the unadulterated taste of camel meat…

Well, I grilled up a little patty without adding any seasoning, even salt, and gave it a try. The spices were very much in evidence (and I could also, now, detect cumin, in the blend), but they were not so strong as to completely overpower the taste of the meat. The thing is, though, had I been told that I was eating beef, I probably wouldn’t have doubted it all. Funnily enough, though, this wasn’t the case when I cooked the rest of the meat with more spices…


Camel Meat 3

I decided to grill skewers of the remaining meat and, to give it a bit of an Arab flair, I added some ground cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom, along with some minced onion and red bell pepper. I meant to add some raisins too but I forgot.

I will note here that the meat is very lean, and very finely ground indeed, and it was not easy to work into patties or balls without it falling apart. I needed some breadcrumbs in the blend to offset this fact and I have to say that the cooked texture was not especially pleasing. It was especially dry, but the smoothness of the consistency just didn’t appeal to me all that much.

As for the taste, this time I was able to detect the taste of lamb very slightly. As for the camel, I think it still might as well have been beef so I I guess I’d have to say I felt a little cheated at not having a clear camel ‘experience’. Sometime, I hope, I will be able to by camel by the steak…

One thought on “Foodstuff: Camel Meat

  1. It was probably meat from a camel that was not kept specifically for its meat, but rather an old camel that was slaughtered after it got too old. Grinding is then the only way to make the tough meat edible. The same is done with old milking cows (ie burger meat).

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