The consumption of such meat is relatively recent. About twelve years ago there were few who had tasted it, and for that you had to go to Africa, the place of ostrich origin. The expansion of the ostrich meat consumption came to public concern when healthy diets became popular. The low-fat foods are healthier for the body and the ostrich meat is a clear example of this. Thus today it can be found in supermarkets and restaurants throughout the world.
Africa is the places where these birds live naturally. Its meat, feathers and skin have been highly coveted and always have been hunted for decades. Thus the idea of breeding arose, which spread through several countries and now have regained importance because ostriches are very productive.
“The reason why so many people refuse to try this meat is ignorance,” says one of the owners of an ostrich farm. “Now there are a trend to try something new, and we willingly provide those who are fans of delicatessens and gourmet products.”
“It’s very similar to chicken, no fat, so that the flavor is milder than, say, the veal, and is especially tender,” he explains, adding that ” its use is especially recommended for elderly and children, so the flesh is soft, not including nerves, and the low level of fat in it.”
Ostrich meat can be classified into four groups:
• Particularly tender flesh: the most prized variety is called, by the way it is. Normally weighs 1.400 kg.
• Less tender meat: steak.
• Meat for cooking: the quality is lower.
• Neck is sliced and prepared as oxtails.
Curiosities of the ostrich
This bird has some unique characteristics. It belongs to the variety of ratites, which are running birds that cannot fly. Therefore they have developed chest muscles, in front and in the back of legs, where meat is plentiful, the wings and the rib area have very little muscle.
On the other hand, required food does not admit compromise. It is based on grains such as wheat, oats or rye and in colder areas including corn, containing little protein but high in fat. An essential element is alfalfa, which provides 18% protein, and soy – both are pricey. In short, the result is quite expensive, as for good quality the meat must contain 21% protein.
The growth of the ostrich is very curious, because, when born it weighs about a kilo, and at one year and ranges 100 and reaches two meters high. It is the optimum time for slaughter, which will get approximately 30 kg of edible meat, the amount of food an ostrich eats since it is a chick until it’s slaughtered is 600 kg.
A little history
The ostrich has always existed in African soil, but not until much later exported. There are three types of ostriches, which vary depending on the color of their neck:
• Black: the most used for commercial exploitation. Born in South Africa in the last century. Its size is reduced and the operation is directed primarily to the feathers.
• Blue: this one is a wild species.
• Red: gigantic and aggressive
The most common are the black necks and a mixture between them and the blue ones.
Say hello to your kitchen
Major advantages of this type of meat are focused on what is healthy for our bodies and the variety of ways to accept for the cook. They can be prepared in any way: grilled, raw, fried, stewed, etc..
Ideally, browning over high heat, so that the pores are closed well and then cook it. In this way we will ensure that it is rosy in the center and golden at the edges.
The result is extraordinary. The demand is so great that there are no enough birds to meet it, although as much as you speculate, the ostrich will never replace beef, simply because the number of vaccines is vastly superior.