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Americans don't eat lamb.....


arjay
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If the Food Network were an indication, the sheep population would be near zero. Recipes and demos daily.

Americans eat an average of about 1/2 pound a year.

Why is this?

Martinis don't come from vodka and bacon don't come from turkeys!

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If I had to guess, I'd say geography. Maybe the overall landscape in North America suits cattle rather than sheep. If true, that would lead to a cultural preference for beef over lamb.

That be my wild-assed-three-o'clock-in-the-morning-and-I-can't-sleep guess.

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Good lamb is perhaps my favorite meat. I eat enough of it to bring up the numbers :biggrin:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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If the Food Network were an indication, the sheep population would be near zero. Recipes and demos daily.

Americans eat an average of about  1/2 pound a year.

Why is this?

I've always heard that Canadians of the generation who were in the Second World War were turned off lamb because of the quantities of awful mutton they had to eat overseas. This story seems to support that, insofar as people in the US are concerned:

http://web.ask.com/redir?bpg=http%3a%2f%2f...%26newscat%3dGN

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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I'm not sure I fully support the strong flavour idea. Lamb has a milder flavour than some cuts of beef.

I do know that, growing up on an island where beef cattle were not raised but sheep were (for lamb, not mutton ... blech), we ate more lamb than 1/2 pound per year. Of course, I'm not American but still ...

When I first moved to California, the only place I could find lamb was at Trader Joe's. The grocery stores near me just didn't carry it. Five years later, I can find lamb shanks, lamb chops, and leg roasts on a regular basis at my local Raley's.

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Lamb has too much character. Typical American food is characterless, so it doesn't fit in.

Plus, the cuteness factor. I dined once with a guy who went all "Mary had a little lamb" on me when I chose roast lamb. He was the most annoying type of dining companion, and each time I dined with him, he would come up with some different way of being annoying.

I think I buy a couple of legs of lamb each year on sale, bone them and turn them into a variety of little roasts, etc. They sell lamb in all the stores around here.

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My father was on a very low-fat diet for some time and got used to getting all visible fat off the lamb he cooked. Most of the distinctive taste of the lamb is in the fat. Denuded of fat, lamb tastes a good deal like beef, but maybe a very good cut.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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plus, sheep eat the grass down to the roots, if i'm not mistaken.

making it impossible to reuse the same patch of land for lamb-grazing next year.

not sure how other countries that produce and eat more lamb per capita deal with this.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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Lamb has too much character.  Typical American food is characterless, so it doesn't fit in.

ouch! :blink:

I suppose the cuteness factor could carry over to pigs, cows and chickens. I don't find that to be a valid reason. I've gone deer hunting. Bambi is mighty cute.

I think most prohibitive is the price for a rack of lamb. It is usually an occasion that we'll splurge for it.

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I eat lamb all the time. It's always in the stores around here-there's a lot of lamb grown in Sonoma County.

I'm in Sacramento ... AKA "cow town" :laugh:

I really do think it's what one is used to. When I think of the smell of lamb and compare that to the smell of one of the cheaper cuts of beef, give me lamb any day! Beef has a very strong smell in comparison. If that's the smell you're used to though ...

On my last trip home, I had kid for the first time, served roasted with some garlic and rosemary. It was wonderful...much like lamb.

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Probably, we'll find a lot of members here who DO eat lamb, and love it. And some who won't touch it, for various reasons. The difference between North American eGullet members and non-eGms, though, is that if we eat it, it's because we love it; and if we hate it, we can pinpoint why -- which is to say, we don't reject it out of hand, as they (non-eGms) do.

In our house, lamb is the preferred red meat. Even as much as I love steak. :wink:

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I think most prohibitive is the price for a rack of lamb.  It is usually an occasion that we'll splurge for it.

I think the price for a rack of lamb is prohibitive, too. That's why I buy whole leg of lamb when it goes on sale for $2.79 a pound. I bone it out, roll up a small roast with garlic, rosemary, and black pepper, slice some nice thick steaks to freeze separately, and cut the rest up for stew or kebabs. The bones make a nice soup stock. Then, I pull out a steak when I'm hungry, give it a quick thaw at 50% in the microwave, sear it on the outside, nice and red on the inside.

My daughter came up and I pulled some out, thinking they was beef. After it was cooked, we realized what it was. Really good.

I really do think it's what one is used to. When I think of the smell of lamb and compare that to the smell of one of the cheaper cuts of beef, give me lamb any day! Beef has a very strong smell in comparison. If that's the smell you're used to though ...

When I went to New Zealand, we were walking up a little hill, and as we approached a pub, we could smell roasting mutton. If only I had not just eaten. It was the best thing I'd ever smelled...

In our house, lamb is the preferred red meat. Even as much as I love steak.

Suzanne! Lamb steak!

Edited by Katherine (log)
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Many of the butchers around here will take a leg of lamb and slice it into 3/4 inch thick steaks that are excellent grilled. A local Jamaican place does an excellent curried goat, which is a lot like lamb but even more tender.

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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I'm going to second the statement that many people are put off by the smell of lamb. It can be a bit strong.

But a nicely grilled lambchop is really tasty. :smile:

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Most Americans overcook lamb. I think that many of the lamb haters might change their minds if they tried it cooked medium rare or, even better, rare. We eat a lot of lamb at home. I to prefer the leg. I have the butcher cut four or five steaks . Then at home I separate the rest of the muscles. They can be cooked in so many different ways - but never ever cooked through.

Ruth Friedman

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... Most of the distinctive taste of the lamb is in the fat. Denuded of fat, lamb tastes a good deal like beef, but maybe a very good cut.

Hmmm, maybe this is why I don't care for lamb shanks as much as other cuts. I, too, usually trim all the fat off lamb before I cook it.

Funny thing-I have a sudden urge for a nice rack of lamb, with a rosemary/ mustard/ garlic/ bread crumb coating.

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I'm not sure I fully support the strong flavour idea. Lamb has a milder flavour than some cuts of beef.

which cuts of beef? i think it's safe to say that lamb has a "stronger" or at the very least "more gamey" flavor (and i think they're one in the same here) than just about any cut of beef popular in the US.

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