Native to South America and typically the Andes Mountain regions, alpacas are in the llama family. That said, these creatures were first introduced into the United States in the mid 1980s and now regularly appear on American and foreign farms.
The animals are farmed for several purposes. That said, they are most typically raise for their fur, which is often turned into wool. However, they are also employed as popular cattle animals and their meat is considered a delicacy to some and gaining wide popularity as an ingredient in trendy dishes throughout the world.
Meat is typically extracted from mature adult animals. Farming experts maintain that each Alpaca can produce as much as 60 pounds of meat. Alpaca meat is labeled as red meat by dietary, agricultural and livestock experts. Farmers credit its burgeoning popularity on the fact that the product is lean and tender. Moreover, this meat can be presented and sold in numerous ways, including ground, steaks, loin, rump, shoulder and tenderloin.
Additionally, alpaca is considered among the healthiest red meat options currently available. The product contains a lower calorie content than most of its counterparts. Furthermore, this edible item is high in protein with diminished concentrations of bad cholesterol and fat.
What Does Alpaca Meat Taste Like?
Alpaca is a tender, sweet, and lean meat. It’s generally considered a mild tasting meat with minimal fat. It’s generally mixed with flavorful sauces and spices.
Alpaca meat possesses a distinctive mild and sweet taste that is easy to savor and does not leave any adverse after flavor. The meat is an ingredient in numerous recipes and commonly prepared at home and in restaurants.
Who Eats Alpaca Meat?
When the animals were only found in South American, their meat was primarily consumed by indigenous peoples native to the Andes Mountains. That said, since Alpacas have been farmed throughout the United States and internationally, said creature’s meat is now widely consumed by a significant percentage of the global population.
How To Cook Alpaca Meat?
Specific cooking instructions will often depend upon the portion of the animal being cooked and in accordance with certain recipes. However, in general terms, Alpaca meat can be prepared several ways, such as fried, baked and grilled. That said, because the meat’s texture is lean, necessary cooking times are often less than other red meat products.
Where To Buy Alpaca Meat?
The product is readily available for purchase online and at food retail establishments like wholesale distributors and farmers markets. That said, Alpaca meat is not yet a staple in supermarket chains. This is because the United States Department of Agriculture, sometimes abbreviated simply as the USDA, has not accepted the Alpaca as a true “meat animal.” Ergo, distribution of this product typically falls under the authority of individual state agencies.
Alpaca farmers believe the USDA holdup has greatly hindered sales and the opportunity for people to consume a healthier red meat alternative. Said agricultural professionals also opine that, when and if Alpaca meat gains USDA approval, it will remain a relatively obscure delicacy enjoyed by only a certain percentage of the population.