Exotic Meats

Would the Teeming Millions be interested in helping me write an article?? I’d like to know what the following exotic meats taste like. If you know of a particular restaurant or chef that serves this mean, please tell me about that, too, so I can write to them. Thanks.

Whale Blubber

…and any other exotic meat that you may have eaten. Thanks a bunch!!!

That should be “…serves this MEAT,” not “…serves this mean.” Oops.

Sheep is exotic? Haven’t you ever had lamb? I’ve had mutton and goat, they taste like a cross between pork and beef but gamier. You can get goat and some Indian resturants. I like venison, but I guess that’s not too exotic. Alligator tastes like beef to me. Shark tastes like mahimahi.

“Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.”

  • Bertrand Russell

I believe the answer is, “they taste just like chicken.”

Now on to the greater problem which is:

How the hell do you accurately describe a taste other than comparing it to other tastes which makes no sense since it tastes like itself rather than the thing you’re comparing it to. Saying “This tastes kind of like strawberries” really doesn’t mean that much when you think about it because it’s the things about it that DO NOT taste like strawberries that makes it unique. In fact, artificial flavouring has proven we don’t have that great a taste memory anyway. Ever had a piece of ‘strawberry’ chewing gum and then had a strawberry? Still, we think of both of them as tasting like strawberries.

So, no, I don’t think there’s any way we could describe the way those meats taste for you.

My $.02 won’t be very helpful, but I’ve always had trouble describing foods as tasting like other foods. That is, an apple tastes like an apple, a Twinkie tastes like a Twinkie, and rattlesnake tastes like, well, rattlesnake. I know we always have a desire to quantify things, but . . . what does chicken taste like? Or beef?

That said, rattlesnake is similar to some poultry in its consistency, and has a mildish flavor. Kangaroo is more beef-like in texture, meaty and fairly flavorful. Shark is fishy without being too fishy, and fairly oily, with a dense texture that I also find similar to dolphin (oops, supposed to call it mahi-mahi ;)).


damn simulpost. What Arken said.

I think the question itself is problematic, since each meat can be prepared so many ways.

I’ll explain what I mean:

Suppose you met someone who never had beef before, and asked you what beef tastes like. Does a mental image of “beef flavor” come to you? If it does, then tell me - Were you thinking of steak, hamburger, meatloaf, stew, meatballs, or what?

Even if we try to ignore the flavorings added to each dish, the cut of meat and method of cooking affect the texture and the entire eating experience. The same spiceless piece will taste differently if you grill it whole, grind it into a burger and then grill it, grind it into a loaf and bake it, or grind it into balls and boil them.

Whatever mental feelings you have about the taste of beef, or chicken, or whatever, results from your accumulated experience eating that animal many different ways. Having eaten Meat A many ways, and Meat B many ways, you can get a feel for the experience which is consistently in Meat A no matter which way you prepare it, as distinct for the taste which is in Meat B no matter how you prepare it.

But if you try an exotic meat just once or twice, I can’t imagine how an amateur (as opposed to an experienced, trained taste-tester) can identify its unique qualities. You need to try that meat prepared many different ways. To try it just once and offer a description, well that description might apply more to the recipe or to that particular cut, than to the species in general.


Mahimahi is not dolphin. Dolphins are mammals. Mahimahi is a type of fish. The confusion came about because Mahimahi is often called Dolphinfish. This is becomming less and less common as persons with marketing concerns realized that people were equating dolphinfish with Flipper.
So go ahead and eat your mahimahi without guilt. It’s a fish.

Don’t get me wrong–I love life. I’m just finding it harder and harder to keep myself amused.

There is a restaurant here in San Francisco that specializes in venison and other game meats - partridge and such. You can look for Buca Giovanni, on Columbus Avenue (at a corner and I can’t recall the other street. It’s hard to describe the taste of game meats… but wild pheasant tastes like chicken crossed with liver.

The reason gentlemen prefer blondes is that there are not enough redheads to go around.

The main thing about rattlesnake meat (and presumedly other snake meat) is that is very boney; sort of like eating spare ribs.

Sheep and Goat both have a distinctive taste (similar to lamb of course) which gets stronger depending on the age of the animal.

Shark does taste like mahimahi or swordfish, except it’s somewhat drier.

As for other exotic meats, ostrich tastes like roast beef, rabbit tastes like dark chicken, and alligator tastes like a fishy sort of beef.

If you’re looking for recipes, dig up a copy of Unmentionable Cuisine by Calvin W. Schwabe. He gives such recipes as Hawaiian Broiled Puppy, Baked Bat, Frogs’ Legs with Cheese Sauce, and Silkworm Omelet. Yum.

Thanks for the info, Lucky. But I’m going to have to disagree.

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Hell, I never felt guilty about eating mahimahi and calling it dolphin. But some people freak. Now if I were to eat porpoise OTOH . . . :slight_smile:


Forgot the restaurants.

Rattlesnake; A now-closed BBQ restaurant in Buffalo called The Albuquerque Cattle Company used to served fried breaded rattlesnake as an appetizer.

You can order mutton in most Indian restauarants and goat in most Mexican or Caribbean ones. Obviously, you’re looking for something a little more authentic than the local Taco Bell.

Shark is probably available in most seafood restaurants. Some may be a little sensitive when asked about serving shark because cheap places will substitute shark for more expensive swordfish.

Two local restaurants serve ostrich. Lilly’s in Buffalo and Rose’s in Rochester. At Lilly’s they serve it as hamburgers. I’ve never eaten at Rose’s.

I had alligator as an appetizer in a Cajun restaurant in Houston which has since closed.

I’ve also eaten several of these meats at home; sheep, shark, rabbit, and ostrich.

Well, I agree with Mike King on the alligator, as it DOES taste like fishy beef.
I got that from a Deliverance-looking guy in Louisiana on a swamp tour.

If Buffalo counts I’ve had that in burger form on Catalina Island at a restaurant called ‘The Buffalo Nickel’ (since you wanted locations) and in steak form at a casino in Deadwood, South Dakota (can’t remember the name on that). The burger tasted like a regular beef burger. The steak was a less fatty tasting roast beef and was quite good.

In Alaska, reindeer sausage is fairly common everywhere. But as it is in sausage form, it tastes a lot like a pork sausage, so I don’t think that counts on your list.

I’ve eaten kangaroo, adn remember it as gamey with a beef-like texture. Unfortunately for your personal taste test, the establishment where I tried kangaroo is now defunct.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

Sorry, andros, Lucky is right. It’s a dolphinfish.


“Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.”

  • Bertrand Russell

…“dolphin” is just its common name. But I guess you got that…didn’t read your post close enough. D’oh! My apologies.

Well, nothing makes me sadder than the untimely death of a cliche, but rattlesnake tastes NOTHING like chicken.

What does it taste like? Well, like rattlesnake basically. That is to say it’s pretty unique. Mild, not a really distinct taste (I ate grilled samples, both plain and marainated).

The single most noticible aspect is the texture, like firm raw fish (like tuna or hake sushi) with a bit of a “grain” to it.

I ate it mostly to impress the girl I was with, but I’d eat it again if offered.

Hope that helps.


I visited Australia a few years back, and ate both kangaroo and alligator (separate meals).

I agree with the folks who say kangaroo is like a stringy, somewhat-gamey beef.

My alligator tail slices tasted like pork chops.

We have all eaten shark. Most fish sticks are actually made of sharks caught in trawl nets.

And while I do not wish to try anyone’s patience by climbing up on the environmental soapbox, sharks are important to the world’s oceans and are threatened world-wide (mainly because they take so long to reproduce). We should try to eat less shark. So, if you actually need a reason to lay off fish sticks, there you have it. :slight_smile:

No problem, Gaudere. I’ve never actually heard it called dolphinfish, myself, only (and occasionally)dolphin. But usually Mahi Mahi. We’ll go with that. :slight_smile:


I hadn’t heard that about fish sticks, Beruang. Do you have a link or a citation for it? I don’t mind eating shark, but I want to know I’m doing so.

I was under the impression that the biggest threats to the shark population were folks hunting them for A)cartillage and B)fins.