Monday, September 1, 2014

Would You Walk a Mile for a Camel Meatball?

During a recent vacation, my spouse and I came across this display in a supermarket in upstate New York.

Yes, we were looking at ground camel and ground kangaroo.

In the United States, these are still considered exotic meats, but it would seem that in Australia, kangaroo meat is gaining in popularity.  In fact, I was able to find an online kangaroo cookbook on an Australian website.

As for camel, that was a bit harder but I found some recipes online.

After some thought (and checking with Facebook friends), we decided not to buy these items.  But we did purchase some chicken sausage in the same store.

I thought back to my college days, when I was a cultural anthropology major, and remembered just how culturally influenced our eating habits are.

While we in the United States may reject camel and kangaroo, many of us love fried fish.  The small village where we were vacationing has a very popular fried fish restaurant, in fact.  And it sells other items, such as lobster rolls.

Yet, there are cultures who will not eat fish, and cultures who will not eat lobster. I have friends who follow a vegan lifestyle for various reasons.  And, there are groups of people who follow extensive rules, religious or otherwise, concerning which foods can be eaten, and which can not be.

Why do we eat certain foods and not others? And, why have certain customs grown up around certain foods? 

Would you have bought the camel or kangaroo meat?  Would you have accepted that challenge?

Speaking of challenges - today starts the Ultra Blog Challenge, a brand new challenge hosted by a woman who had previously helped with the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  She's experienced, and I look forward to participating.  Come join us - it will be fun, it will be exciting, and you will get a lot out of it. Discipline.  Inspiration.  And fellowship.  What do you have to lose? Nothing.  What do you have to gain?

Join the Challenge, and see.

8 comments:

  1. Interesting questions. I'm guessing it has a lot to do with availability. Having said that, for many Indians eating beef is taboo, although we have an abundance of cows.

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    1. I think there are a lot of factors in cultural tattoos about food. I remember a story written by a man who lived, during his childhood, with an African tribe. The tribe members ate insects but were totally grossed out by raisins in some raisin bread they were offered by his parents It is a fascinating topic.

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  2. I think I would like to try camel or kangaroo. I've had yak in Nepal, and I've had water buffalo and goat. When I travel I enjoy trying the foods in other countries. I like to immerse myself into the whole culture.
    Blessings
    Penny

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    1. You've benefited from being adventurous with food. You can't truly know a people until you have shared food with them. You may have made a good cultural anthropologist!

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  3. I doubt I would try either...I am a very finicky eater...for example, the eat only 4 varieties of vegetables. I will not eat red meat. No burgers, no fries. Hate scrambled eggs, will only eat them over easy. See what I mean? :)

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    1. Nothing wrong in being a picky eater as long as you get all of your nutrition. And you are missing nothing by not eating burger and fries. You may be healthier than many in our country.

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  4. I dislike the idea of eating an animal that walks around on four legs. Full Stop. However, I used to do it, surrounded by an Australian culture of lamb and mutton eaters. One thing I like: turkey sausages.

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    1. Chicken sausages are becoming a lot more popular in our country. My spouse and I eat them instead of pork sausages mainly because of the caloric difference (Weight Watchers). But, I think many of us would be healthier if we cut way down on red meat consumption. I have two friends in their 60's who have been vegans for most of their lives, and are quite healthy.

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