Moroccan Camel Meat
I have never ever seen Camel appearing on a restaurant menu anywhere. I even lived in Libya which is (somewhat) close to Morocco way (WAY) back in the day, and I didn’t get to experience it there either. I was accordingly quite excited to see it turning up in a local supermarket packaged by a Canadian Company, Blue Mountain Fine Foods. Now, it seems that the Company may have closed down now, as weblinks are broken, but, in any event, I found the product interesting but a bit disappointing.
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 second 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’.
Finally, the real disappointment came when I read that lamb is also included with the camel… so much for my hope of experiencing the unadulterated taste of camel meat…
What does Camel Meat taste like?
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.
I *could* detect the taste of Lamb in the blend, but it was actually rather faint so I don’t think much was used (which, of course, begs the question, why was *any* used). In any event, it was sufficiently mild enough in impact that I was pretty much able to determine that Camel tastes … well, close enough to Beef that if you had told me I was eating Beef and I didn’t know better, I would have been fooled.
Using Camel Meat in Recipes
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.
In short, this was interesting culinary experience, but not one I would much bother with again.