People like ostrich meat as it is 97% fat-free. Also, ostrich meat is known to be healthy as it has a low-fat content. If you want to follow a healthy diet, you can include this meat. Ostrich is the world’s largest flightless animal that lays the largest egg, but what does ostrich taste like?
Ostrich meat has a taste similar to beef, but it is more red. It is considered a healthy alternative to most meats as it is rich in iron. What’s better? Well, it does not taste like the usual bird. You can easily grill ostrich meat without worrying about it shrinking with heat.
Although ostrich meat has a taste similar to beef, what is the meat’s texture? Is the meat hard to digest? And what are the different types of ostrich meat? Keep reading to get the answer.
What Does Ostrich Taste Like
You can eat red ostrich meat more than the usual white meat as it has better nutritional content. Ostrich meat tastes better because it comes from a combination of red meat and lean muscle.
Unlike the usual birds that are mainly raised for their meat, ostriches are different. They belong to ratites, a bird group known to have akin taste and lean beef.
Ostrich Meat Texture
Just like the taste, the texture of red ostrich also feels premium. You can easily grill it like a steak and enjoy its wonderful taste. Since ostrich meat is lean, you will not see any shrinkage while cooking. That means the premium texture of ostrich meat is maintained.
Is Ostrich Meat Hard to Digest
Honestly, ostrich meat is not hard to digest, and you can easily eat it. In fact, ostrich meat is known to have 97% of lean meat that is full of nutrition. Thus, digesting the meat is not tough, and it tastes better.
Different Types of Ostriches for Meat
Comparatively, raising ostrich for consumption is not common in America, but it’s quite common in Africa. Almost all the ostrich are slaughtered when they reach 18 months to avoid overcrowding or too much stress.
After the slaughter, the bird’s feathers are removed, revealing the delicious meat’s real color and texture. For the seasoning, herbs like sage, thyme, tarragon, and more are added with salt and pepper.
Below are four different ostriches that are raised and killed for meat.
This African ostrich sub-specie is known to have delicious meat but is also raised for selling feathers. Struthio Camelus are known to grow up to 8 feet tall which helps them easily hide from predators.
Talking about weight, they are around 220 pounds when they mature. However, the weight of this ostrich sub-species changes depending on the area they are raised in.
The male ostriches are popular for their mating dance. They are known to chase the female ostrich while beating their wings on the ground until she submits. The flavor of this ostrich is plump and light. The ostrich meat texture is close to veal or chitlins (pig intestine).
Struthio Camelus Domesticus
Struthio Camelus Domesticus is a smaller ostrich breed mainly raised for its looks. These are called petite versions of ostrich. While this ostrich breed is praised for its looks, it is not as tender and tasty as the other ostrich meat. It can be because this ostrich breed is selectively bred, not for eating.
Avoid eating Struthio Camelus Domesticus if you want to get nutritional benefits from ostrich meat. The flavor of this meat can be described as dry and bland. The sausages made from this ostrich species’ meat taste better than any other version.
Struthio Camelus Natalensis
Struthio Camelus Natalensis is considered to be the second-largest ostrich. This species has tasty meat and is the ideal source of nutrition.
Struthio Camelus Natalensis tastes delicious because the bird spends most of its time gazing at the seeds, insects, and grasses. While the taste is a bit dry, you will enjoy eating its meat.
Struthio Camelus Masaicus
Struthio Camelus Masaicus is the smallest ostrich found in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The meat of this ostrich can give you a feel of a cross between beef and venison.
Usually, the meat of Struthio Camelus Masaicus is used for making burgers or sausages. However, this meat is also sold with bone in it. You can boil or fry this bird meat to get a premium taste.
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Ostrich Meat Nutrition
One important thing about ostrich meat is that it has less fat than other meat. But you can still get a good source of iron from it. What’s better? Well, it is less greasy and sweeter than pork or beef. So, anyone who has fewer teeth can easily chew ostrich meat.
But one needs to remember that while the total fat is less in an ostrich, it has more saturated fat. Ostrich meat is known for its low-fat content and leanness. On average, one 3 oz serving has around 143 calories.
Risks and Considerations For Eating Ostrich Meat
Ostrich meat tastes delicious, but you cannot always eat it. Depending on the way the ostrich is killed, you can consume it. The risk is involved in two separate things.
The first risk lies in the way the ostrich is slaughtered. If the ostrich’s brain gets damaged during slaughtering, the infection can quickly spread throughout the body.
Secondly, certain types of parasites are known to be found in the ostrich intestine. So, if you consume such ostrich meat, you might fall sick.
The safest way to eat ostrich meat is to choose an ostrich that was not badly injured during the slaughtering process. If they were injured, there is a high chance of parasites being in their muscles.
But you can freely enjoy the ostrich meat if there are no signs of infection or parasites. This way, you can enjoy the ostrich meat to the fullest without any adverse effects.
Ostrich meat tastes delicious and has a similar flavor to that of beef. It is a healthy alternative to other bird meat as it has a lower fat content. But the saturated fat amount is more in the ostrich meat.
Also, there are a few risks involved with ostrich meat. For instance, if the ostrich head was damaged during the slaughtering process or there are parasites, you must avoid eating such ostrich meat.