Camel is a fascinating animal.
It has some pretty unusual characteristics, not the least of which it tastes like beef and lamb.
It’s the only mammal that can survive without water for 15 days, and it has been domesticated in many parts of the world for centuries.
In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into what you need to know about the camel, what it tastes like, and how you can cook it.
What is Camel?
Throughout history, people have used camels for many different purposes.
Camels are an easy way to carry heavy loads on long journeys over rough terrain without feeding them during transport or worry about keeping fresh water available.
The hump stores fat, which can help sustain the beast when food sources run out.
A camel can eat anything from leaves of trees to stones if they need sustenance while roaming their landscape looking for food.
However, in recent years camels have become an economical source of food for countries that depend on oil extraction and little land area for farming.
They can provide us with milk, meat, wool, and transportation while still being gentle in our environment like no other creature will ever do.
They are an easy-to-preserve protein source with twice the caloric content as beef and three times the caloric content compared to poultry.
Can You Eat Camel Meat?
I bet you’ve never heard of eating camel.
But some people in the Mid-East believe that it is a great delicacy and consider this meat to be more delicious than beef steak, lamb chops, or chicken wings.
Some would even go as far as suggesting it tastes better than pork bacon.
Camel meat is a staple in many countries in North Africa, Southern Asia, and The Middle East.
In Saudi Arabia, camel meat is sometimes considered a delicacy found at special restaurants that offer ‘Camel Meat Buffets’ on specific days throughout the year.
Dromedaries are used for these events as humans have long domesticated them for their milk, wool, and other products such as dung.
If you could try any part of a camel, what would it be? Would you eat boiled or roast camel feet with bone marrow sauce? Or maybe go all out and enjoy some roasted ribs (without the bones)? Perhaps even smoked camel bacon to start your morning off right.
Health and Nutritional Benefits of Camel
The camel is a patient animal that can survive on sparse vegetation.
They are also able to digest thorny plants, which other animals cannot eat.
Camels are an animal that is often overlooked as a source of food and sustenance.
Camel milk is rich in fat and protein to provide nutrition for the calf when it comes out of the stomach after a gestation period of 13 months.
It contains up to 2 times more Vitamin C than cow’s milk, as well as iron that carries oxygen around the body and supports your immune system.
Camel milk is rich in vitamins A, D, and E to keep you healthy during pregnancy and protect against asthma, cancer, or heart disease.
Camel meat is superior to other red meats in many ways.
It has been shown that it contains less saturated fat and cholesterol than chicken, beef, pork, or lamb.
The meat is also rich in selenium and zinc.
It provides iron which makes it an effective remedy for people who suffer from anemia due to low hemoglobin levels in their blood.
What Does Camel Taste Like?
The taste of camel meat is a bit like beef but gamier.
It’s also very lean, so it can be tough if not properly cooked.
The flavor is similar to deer or lamb in both texture and appearance, depending on the animal’s age when killed.
As with all types of red meats, the camel has an iron-like quality that some people find off-putting; others think it adds richness to dishes such as stews where other ingredients are used for flavoring.
Usually, young camels will have less gamey flavors than older animals due to their diet consisting primarily of grasses rather than grains.
Depending on the cut, camel meat can be cooked in a variety of ways.
For example, a ground camel can be used for burgers or meatloaf and tacos and kebabs where the meat is mixed with onions, garlic, and spices like cumin, chili powder, or curry before cooking.
Bones must also be removed from any cuts that are to be roasted or grilled.
They tend not to break down during the process due to their high calcium level.
Because of its leanness, camel should often be served alongside sauces or other fatty ingredients.
Camel’s gamier flavor is often compared to venison, but there are some differences between the two types of meats.
Venison tastes stronger and drier than most other game meats, while camels have a mild flavor that many people find preferable for cooking with an array of spices.
What Does Camel Milk Taste Like?
Camel milk is a favorite of many, and it has been for centuries.
In the Middle East in the early 1200s, camels were prized as status symbols because they could produce large quantities of milk.
It has a very mild flavor and can be consumed in either hot or cold form.
That’s not all, though: camel milk was also known for being an excellent source of vitamin C.
Nowadays, there are few places where you can find this particular type of dairy product, but some still argue that it tastes better than cow milk.
They say it’s smoother and sweeter, without the tangy aftertaste of regular dairy products.
In general, camel milk has a relatively low-fat content while still being a nutritious beverage.
Camel milk is also perfect for those with lactose intolerance or other sensitivities to cow’s milk because it doesn’t contain any traces of whey, casein.
How to Cook Camel Meat?
Many people are not aware that camel meat is an excellent source of protein and has a tender, savory flavor.
There are many ways to cook camel meat, but they all have one thing in common: They should always be cooked slowly and carefully.
The first way to prepare the meat is by roasting it for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit with salt and pepper, or until its internal temperature reaches 155 F (68 C).
It can also be roasted on skewers if you want to skewer vegetables as well – make sure not to add too much oil when cooking them.
The second option is grilling; find a good, hot grill and cook the meat for about 15 minutes on each side.
If you don’t have a big enough grill to put all of the camel meat at once, rotate it while cooking to be evenly cooked through.
The third option is making kebabs by threading pieces of camel onto metal rods or skewers – this way, they will roast more quickly than if left unattended in an oven.
When grilling them, make sure they are well-oiled with olive oil or other healthy fats before throwing them on the grill.
Then turn occasionally until both sides reach medium-rare (which should take about six minutes).
If you plan on using the meat for a stew, use about two pounds of camel per person.
Add enough water or broth to cover, and then add your favorite herbs and spices.
Cover with lid and simmer for at least an hour until tender.
Is Camel Meat Expensive?
Camel meat prices are around US$20 per pound, but they’re not very expensive compared to other exotic meats.
You can find a camel in specialty grocery stores or at a butcher shop specializing in game meats.
You might only need a few pounds of the animal for your recipe, so you may have trouble finding an affordable cut because it’s usually sold by weight and not by the piece or number of pieces like other types of meat often are.
Where to Buy Camel Meat?
Exotic meats such as camel are becoming more popular in the U.S, Japan, and Europe; for example, demand has increased by 20% since 2012 when Australia’s Meramist company saw increased production to satisfy this growing market.
In 2016 alone, a California-based Exotic Meat Market owner reported a 3 thousand percent growth due to sales of camel meat.
The other Exotic Meat Market in the U.S, located in Chicago, has also seen a 100% increase since January 2016 due to this growing market for exotic meats.
It seems that people are willing to pay extra money for variety when it comes to their meat.
If you want your premium cuts of camel meat, then check out these two stores: Meramist Company (Australian) and Exotic Meats (U.S).
In conclusion, camel meat is an exciting and exotic food choice.
It turns out that camel tastes pretty similar to beef.
You might have a hard time telling them apart if you just tasted one piece of each side by side.
The only difference is that the flavor changes depending on how you cook it and the spices used in the recipe.
Imagine cooking your favorite dish with some ground camels instead of beef.
Who knows, maybe this will be an up-and-coming trend for foodies everywhere.
Give it a try next chance you get.