Customers are demanding in today’s day and age. Not only are they looking for unique foods, they simultaneously seek healthy restaurant options. Various articles have cited that unusual cuts of meat such as rabbit, pigeon, and goat meat, will become culinary trends in 2014. It turns out that these meats have higher nutritional value than typical types of meat, and can be prepared in a wide variety of preparation methods. By learning and experimenting with various unusual cuts of meat, restaurants can set themselves apart and expand their menus.
Rabbit meat is a rather versatile type of meat that is often compared to chicken in terms of flavor and texture. It can be prepared in a variety of cooking methods, similarly to chicken. It is generally considered an excellent source of high quality protein, and promotes healthy eating by being leaner than chicken, beef, and pork. Sometimes rabbit meat gets a bad rep for its association with various health concerns due to its lean composition and lack of essential fatty acids. However, for customers looking for healthy restaurant options, rabbit meat is a great choice. Even restaurants such as Chez Panisse and The French Laundry have taken to using rabbit meat in various dishes, such as buttermilk-fried rabbit.
Goat meat is widely consumed worldwide. Similar to lamb and veal, different parts of the animal can be prepared with different cooking methods which include grilling, braising, frying, and slow-cook cooking methods. Goat meat usually (but not always) has a stronger, gamey-er flavor than other types of meat, making it appeal to a smaller sector of customers compared to beef. Despite this potential drawback, customers concerned with healthy eating will be drawn to cuts of meat from goats because of their low cholesterol and fat content. Goat meat takes center stage in many authentic cuisines such as Indian, Carribean, and Nepali dishes, making the recipes that incorporate this type of meat interesting and unusual to US diners.
Pigeon meat, often called squab, is similar to the dark meat of chicken, but with a thicker-fattier skin. Though it is not a typical healthy eating option, those looking for healthy restaurant dishes may be drawn to the high content of vitamins, minerals, and proteins in pigeon meat. The rich flavor and succulent texture of pigeon meat, due to its fat content, make it a great option for cooking methods such as braising, roasting, confit, and pan-frying.
Unusual meats will always draw the eye of meat fans. However, the added healthy eating benefits of the cuts of meat described above make them attractive to customers searching for healthy restaurant options, as well. Though buying meat that falls under these culinary trends can be expensive, the unique dishes that can be created with them can make them well worth the cost. And who knows? If these culinary trends take off, buying meat such as a type of meat listed above may become more affordable. Whether or not the food costs go down, however, restaurants looking to set themselves apart can adopt these culinary trends and experiment with unique cuts of meat and cooking methods.