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Old 12-08-2017, 08:38 AM
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Farming Venison

Link to Cecil's column on farming venison.

One thing Cecil missed is this: deer tastes like SHIT. I've tried to eat it five or six times, each time I thought I was eating a hobo's shoe.

Please don't tell me it wasn't prepared right. It was prepared by the same person who shot it an dressed it, and who keeps insisting that I don't like it because I've never had it prepared right. Gordon Fucking Ramsay could cook it for me and it would still taste like shit.

Bottom line: some people just don't have a taste for wild game. And I'm not alone in this: the human preference for farmed meat over game meat (in some humans anyway) goes back at least 5,000 years: see Genesis 25: 28.

Out of curiosity, how many generations would it take to farm the wild game taste out of a population of deer? 10? 30? 100?
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by HeyHomie View Post
Link to Cecil's column on farming venison.

One thing Cecil missed is this: deer tastes like SHIT. I've tried to eat it five or six times, each time I thought I was eating a hobo's shoe.

Please don't tell me it wasn't prepared right. It was prepared by the same person who shot it an dressed it, and who keeps insisting that I don't like it because I've never had it prepared right. Gordon Fucking Ramsay could cook it for me and it would still taste like shit.

Bottom line: some people just don't have a taste for wild game. And I'm not alone in this: the human preference for farmed meat over game meat (in some humans anyway) goes back at least 5,000 years: see Genesis 25: 28.

Out of curiosity, how many generations would it take to farm the wild game taste out of a population of deer? 10? 30? 100?
This may be the first time I've seen a Café Society "X tastes terrible, your opinions about it are WRONG" post in Comments on Columns.

I don't think it would take generations. A lot of "wild game" taste comes down to how the animal fed. A lot of wild forage is strongly flavored and those compounds wind up in the tissue. OTOH, 'round here, even wild deer tend to feed on cornfield residue, and it's literally corn-fed venison. Very mild, not very "gamey" at all. (In other words, boring.)

BTW, I'm not sure how you think that Biblical passage supports your assertion:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Genesis 25:28
Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Isaac is the only character whose meat preferences is mentioned, and he voted "venison". (We'll go ahead and read between the lines if you want, and state the unstated: it was notable that Isaac preferred game, because everyone else preferred farmed. You didn't make that argument, but I'll charitably assume that you meant that inferential argument rather than completely misreading and miscomprehending that passage.)

Last edited by gnoitall; 12-08-2017 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:04 AM
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The "gamey" taste is due to diet and activity. Wild deer eat just about anything they can: grass, acorns, a wide variety of vegetation, some of which are strongly flavored that we use as herbs, and they are constantly moving. If they were raised in a pen and fed corn, the taste would be much more mild.

So, the answer to your last question is "one."
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:40 AM
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BTW, I'm not sure how you think that Biblical passage supports your assertion:Isaac is the only character whose meat preferences is mentioned, and he voted "venison". (We'll go ahead and read between the lines if you want, and state the unstated: it was notable that Isaac preferred game, because everyone else preferred farmed. You didn't make that argument, but I'll charitably assume that you meant that inferential argument rather than completely misreading and miscomprehending that passage.)
The Biblical passage is clear: some people (or at least one, anyway) preferred the taste of wild game over farmed meat. Was Isaac alone in his preference? Fuck if I know. Considering however many people lived in that part of the world at the time, who had access to both farmed livestock and wild game, I wouldn't think so.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:53 AM
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I love the taste of venison. Several friends get shoot more than they can use, and so I get one or two deer a year. Pheasant also. mmmmmmmm.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:56 AM
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I love the taste of venison. Several friends get shoot more than they can use, and so I get one or two deer a year. Pheasant also. mmmmmmmm.
My grandfather, who never fired a gun in his life outside of Basic Training (or whatever it's called in the Navy), would get venison here and there from his work pals every fall, and grind it up into summer sausage. THAT was delicious.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:13 AM
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One thing Cecil missed is this: deer tastes like SHIT.
And to me cilantro tastes exactly like floor cleaner but for some reason people seem to adore the shit and put it in everything.

Dude, if you don't like venison don't eat it, but don't assume everyone else feels the same way. Some of us like meat with actual flavor as opposed to the near-ubiquitous sponge-like generic chicken breast (as an example).
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:39 AM
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I would gladly give up all other meat if I could have a reliable source of venison, year-round.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:00 PM
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I find venison to be fantastic. I'll take your portion.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:04 PM
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Well, personally I hate the crap. Mr. Wrekker hunts an fishes as much as the game laws allow, so I have cooked my share of it for him. In every imaginable way. He would eat game everyday. I don't get the romantic view of venison, it stinks when you are prepping it. It has absolutely no fat, so it's dry as hell. To roast it you have to add fat from some source, usually I add fat back or fatty bacon. I suppose you have to have a taste for it. I don't. I guess i could eat it if i was starving from a apocalypse or something. According to my husband, if they are corn fed you might well be eating lamb.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:23 PM
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I don't get the romantic view of venison, it stinks when you are prepping it. It has absolutely no fat, so it's dry as hell.
I find the leanness of venison a major plus. Cook it in a stew, heavy on the red wine.
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Old 12-08-2017, 05:29 PM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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Some of the best carpaccio I ever had was venison. Served in this restaurant on the pier in Santa Cruz, CA, back in the 80s. Absolutely fabulous.

It most certainly (well, most probably) doesn't taste like shit. It might not taste like chicken, but then if all you can enjoy are bland meats like chicken and pork, God help you if you try to eat anywhere else in the world, where exotic flavors are taken as par for the course. Well, except for England, where boring is best.
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:26 PM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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a ton of the "funk" in venison is in the fat. it's why we don't use deer fat for ground venison, and trim what we can.

IME venison tastes like lamb but a bit stronger. if your experience is that it tastes like a "hobo's shoe" then who knows how the animal was taken and treated. could have been gut shot, could have been hung improperly, could have been aged at the wrong temperature.

I ate a bit of the backstrap from the deer I took last month, and "hobo's shoe" is the last thing I'd use to describe it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
Some of the best carpaccio I ever had was venison. Served in this restaurant on the pier in Santa Cruz, CA, back in the 80s. Absolutely fabulous.

It most certainly (well, most probably) doesn't taste like shit. It might not taste like chicken, but then if all you can enjoy are bland meats like chicken and pork, God help you if you try to eat anywhere else in the world, where exotic flavors are taken as par for the course. Well, except for England, where boring is best.
this. I like lamb, goat, venison, etc. because they actually taste like something, Commercial beef, chicken, and pork are so bland as to be worthless. People rave about stuff like Wagyu or Kobe beef because of its "texture."

guess what? I don't eat or taste texture.

Last edited by jz78817; 12-08-2017 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:51 PM
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Don't ever visit South Africa. You'll be introduced to all kinds of delicious animals that you'll find repugnant! A lot of them do tend to taste a bit like venison. Or beef. Depends on the beast.
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:51 PM
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To roast it you have to add fat from some source, usually I add fat back or fatty bacon.
I prefer butter for that, actually.
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:04 AM
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Butter smokes too much to roast with, YMMV, but I have cooked venison for 30 years. I do what works for me. I do hate the crap though. Its not exotic around here. Everybody I know cooks it alot. My kids grew up on it and wild turkey, wild hog and rabbits & squirrel. Son-wrekker still begs for my squirrel Mulligan every fall. It is just a matter of your taste.
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Old 12-09-2017, 06:34 AM
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Venison, lamb, goat, ostrich, buffalo, I don't care for. Several wild birds I like quail, chukar, I like wild rabbit and squirrel, wild cat meats are delicious. Wild pork I don't like.
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Old 12-09-2017, 06:44 AM
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Venison, lamb, goat, ostrich, buffalo, I don't care for.
Ostrich? My only complaint against ostrich is price, for meat that is indistinguishable from beef.


ETA: DSYoungEsq, venison carpaccio sounds amazing. I've never seen it offered.

Last edited by kayaker; 12-09-2017 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:13 AM
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I've only had venison two or three times, and that was decades ago. My grandmother made venison chops that were delicious. A friend of the family gave us venison roast that was gamy. I don't mind gamy, and in fact I usually prefer stronger flavours in my foods. Anyway, I'd always thought that gaminess was a function of the care taken when dressing the deer.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:14 AM
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Not sure why the optics are bad. The deer get killed, no matter how you, um, slice it.

As for the taste of venison: some good, some bad. I've never been all that fond of it. Suburban deer are the worst. They hang around schoolyards and such and they eat all the cigarette butts lying around. They really taste bad.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:29 AM
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Not sure why the optics are bad. The deer get killed, no matter how you, um, slice it.
The Bambi factor.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:58 AM
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The Bambi factor.
I think Cecil's "poor optics" bit was more about the captive game reserve thing, and not necessarily Bambi blasting in general.
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:11 AM
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guess what? I don't eat or taste texture.
Well, I find texture one of the most important thing about food. I also don't like strongly flavored foods in general, and prefer things that are bland with a texture I enjoy to those that are "rich" - rich in things that I find repugnant, usually.
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Old 12-09-2017, 01:35 PM
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Game preserves

I think the remark about farmed deer provided to game preserves being "easy quarry" for hunters is a bit off the mark.

Game preserves preserve the concept of free chase. They are not to be confused with canned hunts in which an animal is simply walked into an enclosure where a pale imitation of a hunter simply shoots it with no legitimate effort.
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Old 12-09-2017, 02:19 PM
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Mr. Wrekker swears the taste of venison is different if the deer was shot 'on the run' or standing still. Also the age of the deer is important.
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:22 PM
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Mr. Wrekker swears the taste of venison is different if the deer was shot 'on the run' or standing still. Also the age of the deer is important.
That might be the case. Adrenaline or something. It's said that the bull killed during a bullfight is extra tasty compared to a normal bull or steer, because of the adrenaline. I've never had post-bullfight beef, though, so I can't confirm the veracity.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:33 AM
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What are the steaks like? Are there deer ribeye steaks? Can I (or rather would I want to) eat them med rare?
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Old 12-10-2017, 02:11 AM
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Unless it is aged properly and cut right venison can be incredibly tough. You can manipulate it some. If I think it's gonna be really tough I soak it in vinegar/salt water solution and pound it with a meat mallet, before dredging in seasoned flour and frying.
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Old 12-10-2017, 07:41 AM
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The "gamey" taste is due to diet and activity. Wild deer eat just about anything they can: grass, acorns, a wide variety of vegetation, some of which are strongly flavored that we use as herbs, and they are constantly moving. If they were raised in a pen and fed corn, the taste would be much more mild.
Any Kiwis in the audience? As the Perfect Master mentioned in the column, deer have been raised commercially in New Zealand for some time. In LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring, the extended version of the movie has Aragorn bringing in a dead deer to the camp in the Midgewater Marshes; it was obtained at a local slaughterhouse. Perhaps a New Zealander could tell us the difference between raised and hunted venison.
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Old 12-10-2017, 07:42 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
That might be the case. Adrenaline or something. It's said that the bull killed during a bullfight is extra tasty compared to a normal bull or steer, because of the adrenaline. I've never had post-bullfight beef, though, so I can't confirm the veracity.
they run regardless, even with a good clean shot. the last one I took I hit with a perfect lung-heart-lung shot but it was still able to run for about 20-30 yards.
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:13 AM
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Venison is a rare treat for me. Many years ago, I found a small roast of farmed venison in the freezer section of the grocery store. Wish I'd bought more, it was delicious. Since then, just the odd bit that I could beg from someone who had some. I had moose stew a few years back. That was good, too.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:04 PM
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I've prepared and eaten venison for years and years. I don't like it much, though I have had an occasional dish that was very good indeed. I usually soak it overnight in water and vinegar and rinse a couple times before I cook it. It's very lean, so you either have to cook it quickly or stew it . I wish I could give you all a few recipes, but I usually wing it. The best parts are the thin steaks (I don't like the hamburger or sausage) - cooked quickly with some green pepper rings, (fresh) onion rings, some peppercorns in a pan with a can of beer, and served on hard rolls with A-1 sauce; stewed in the crockpot with wine, mushrooms, onions, and beef broth, over mashed potatoes (cook the sauce down). The stronger tasting the cooking ingredients, the less gamey it tastes.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:10 PM
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I think the remark about farmed deer provided to game preserves being "easy quarry" for hunters is a bit off the mark.

Game preserves preserve the concept of free chase. They are not to be confused with canned hunts in which an animal is simply walked into an enclosure where a pale imitation of a hunter simply shoots it with no legitimate effort.
I am unaware of these "game preserves". My understanding is that standard practice is to have a "deer lease", i.e. pay someone for the privilege to set up a deer stand. Then, to ensure deer will be near your stand, during the fall one puts out a deer feeder, i.e. a device that scatters corn near your deer stand. This when hunting season arrives, one goes out to the deer stand early and waits for the deer to show up for breakfast. BOOM!

It's not quite target practice, but it's close. Seems a bit off to call this "hunting".
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:52 PM
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What are the steaks like? Are there deer ribeye steaks? Can I (or rather would I want to) eat them med rare?
IANA butcher, so anyone with more accurate info please correct me. The sections of meat on a cow that get cut into rib steaks and strip/shell steaks are generally removed whole and boneless from the animal. These are the backstraps. They can then be cut into steaks/medallions, but often they are simply cut into 1 foot sections of "loin".

There is not much of this on the animal and most non-hunters will never taste this piece of meat. If someone shares their backstrap with you, they REALLY like you. I like to take a whole section of loin, jab it thoroughly with a fork, and marinate it for awhile in olive oil, Worcestershire, garlic, salt and pepper. Dry off your loin and grill it to just past medium rare. Then slice it across the grain to serve.

I've never come across someone who liked a nice, medium rare steak who didn't think this preparation was outstanding. I prefer doing it this way because it's too easy to overcook medallions.

It was also mentioned upthread that it makes a big difference how the animal was aged, butchered and stored. The fat and connective tissues don't render out of venison the same way they will with beef or pork. If you leave all this in and then consider that many of the less desirable pieces are freezer burnt by the time you get to them it results in a "gamey" tasting stew.
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Old 12-10-2017, 02:39 PM
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Yes you have to get all that silver skin off. It will ruin good deer meat.
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:01 PM
Hector_St_Clare Hector_St_Clare is offline
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There is not much of this on the animal and most non-hunters will never taste this piece of meat. If someone shares their backstrap with you, they REALLY like you. I like to take a whole section of loin, jab it thoroughly with a fork, and marinate it for awhile in olive oil, Worcestershire, garlic, salt and pepper. Dry off your loin and grill it to just past medium rare. Then slice it across the grain to serve.
.
I'm not a hunter, but I've had backstrap before, and I can attest it's *delicious*. (My friend was a hunter and cooked back straps at a barbecue he had- I believe he marinated it in a combination of Sprite and vinaigrette dressing, which sounds like a waste of good venison but actually was a quite tasty sweet-and-sour recipe).

I'm still not a hunter, but I can get ground venison on occasion from a specialty grocery store, and it's pretty much one of the few red meats I cook.
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:29 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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I just go to Wegman's, buy a package of venison steaks, and pan fry them. Just as juicy as beef with no special treatment whatsoever. The taste isn't all that different from beef, either, perhaps a bit stronger.

I assume that the flavor is inherent in its being farm-raised venison from New Zealand. Like most foods, getting stuff from a good source is critical.
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:27 AM
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I've enjoyed venison several times in my life and liked it just fine. It was flavorful without being gamy and it was tender rather than tough or stringy like so many complain. I'm guessing the person preparing it knew what they were doing.

But I must say my favorite of the cervids would have to be elk. I've had elk steaks on a couple of occasions and found it to be fantastic. Tender, meaty and flavorful.

Last edited by Kolak of Twilo; 12-11-2017 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:27 PM
Rutherford B Rutherford B is offline
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Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
Mr. Wrekker swears the taste of venison is different if the deer was shot 'on the run' or standing still. Also the age of the deer is important.
age of any meat animal is very important.

You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear and you can't get a USDA Choice T-bone steak out of an old cow.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:31 PM
Rutherford B Rutherford B is offline
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That might be the case. Adrenaline or something. It's said that the bull killed during a bullfight is extra tasty compared to a normal bull or steer, because of the adrenaline. I've never had post-bullfight beef, though, so I can't confirm the veracity.
I doubt it !

Packing plants and truckers hauling cattle to packing plants do everything they can to keep the animals calm before slaughter to get better meat.

The opposite of what you claim .
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:48 PM
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I doubt it !

Packing plants and truckers hauling cattle to packing plants do everything they can to keep the animals calm before slaughter to get better meat.

The opposite of what you claim .
I'm not claiming anything; I'm repeating what others claim. But I'm not sure what you're asserting...

Are you being sarcastic and indicating that packing plants and truckers are increasing the adrenalin levels?

Or if they're not increasing adrenaline levels, then it's much inline with that the claimants claim.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:56 PM
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I grew up on venison. It tastes good regardless of whether the deer was running or standing, but the deer's food type does matter.
For this discussion about using venison as a major food source, it might be important to know that some states prohibit the sale of meat from local wild game species in order to not create a market for poachers.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:43 PM
Rutherford B Rutherford B is offline
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I'm not claiming anything; I'm repeating what others claim. But I'm not sure what you're asserting...

Are you being sarcastic and indicating that packing plants and truckers are increasing the adrenalin levels?

Or if they're not increasing adrenaline levels, then it's much inline with that the claimants claim.
I'm questioning why a bull all worked up by a bullfight would be " extra tasty".
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