Eat kaengurus meat

Kangaroo Meat: Australia's Native Food In The Spotlight

When you first think about Australia, it's easy to think about koalas, warm weather, prawns on the barbie, and we're sure the thought of kangaroos is somewhere on this list. Whether you are thinking of feeding a kangaroo or eating a kangaroo, kangaroo meat is considered a highly sought-after dish; however, the idea of ​​eating "skippy" puts knots in the stomachs of many Australians.

History of the kangaroo meat

Although kangaroos had been hunted for their meat by the Aboriginal people for generations, kangaroo meat was not legalized in South Australia until 1980, followed by other states in 1993. However, prior to that, recipes made with kangaroo meat appeared in Australian cookbooks until the 1930s. During this time, kangaroo soup was in great demand - a stew made from kangaroo that has been fortified with salt pork, which makes it full of flavor.

Due to an overpopulation of kangaroos, licensed shooters through population control programs can hunt the animal through a very strict code of conduct. Kangaroos are legally protected from hunting non-Aboriginal people so that Aboriginal communities can maintain their cultural traditions. Protected by state and federal legislation in Australia, of the 48 species of kangaroo in the country, only five of these species can be commercially harvested.

Kangaroo, Tasmania | Courtesy of Tourism Australia / © Allan Dixon

Staple food for indigenous Australians

In the past, the kangaroo was an important source of protein for a long time due to its high protein content and low fat content (around two percent). Not only has this animal hopped across Australia for generations, but the indigenous peoples have created special names and uses in the communities, along with methods of cooking and cutting the animal.

In Central Australia the Arrernte People call it kangaroo Kere aherre , and remove the milk entrails, and sing the hair in the fire before skinning, and place the carcass in a hole in the ground covered with hot earth and coals. Before cooking the carcass, they both remove the tail. Cut in a way to feed the maximum amount of people, the meat is served alongside the animal's body fluids and serves as an accompanying drink.

Likewise the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara People, also from Central Australia, call a kangaroo malu and mainly chase after the meat ( kuka ). However, they use the bones of the carcass to make spears to aid them in future hunts.

'Black Guy Carrying To Camp Emu And Kangaroo With Old Man And Boy Behind-Sketchbook Of Aboriginal Activities' by Tommy McRAE - Kwatkwat People (c.1842 - 1901) | © National Gallery of Australia / WikiCommons

Preparation and taste

Many people around the world have debated the taste and texture of kangaroo meat. Prepared in a similar way to many other types of meat - steaks, burgers, and sausages - kangaroo meat can dry out very quickly; As a result, this meat is often rarely to medium cooked. This healthy meat is low in saturated fat, free and organic, high in iron, and high in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). This leads to a number of health benefits ranging from reducing obesity to ingesting anti-carcinogenic and anti-carcinogenic substances. diabetic properties.

The taste of the kangaroo is described differently by each person who tries it, but a common observation was made; it tastes like a mix of game and buffalo meat. It's not as dry as deer, and it's leaner than the meat of a buffalo.

Kangaroo meat | © Chen Wu / Flickr

Meat industry attracts critical attention

The Australian kangaroo hunting program was one of the largest annual wildlife hunting programs in the world, and in 2008 the kangaroo meat industry was worth $ 250-270 million a year. This meat industry has been seen as an environmentally friendly industry as the kangaroos are well adapted to our weather conditions, do not require processed feed, and do not destroy the native grasses. The industry is supported by professional ecologists including the Australian Mammal Society, the Ecological Society of Australia and the Australasian Wildlife Management Society.

While this support was encouraged, animal welfare organizations in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States have raised serious public health and sustainability concerns. Although the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service also exported kangaroo meat internationally to over 50 countries in the 1990s, British supermarkets opposed this by stopping selling kangaroo meat. The German retailer Lidl and the frozen food supermarket Iceland have now reintroduced this meat.

Kangaroo meat at Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne | © Eric in SF / Flickr

Eat kangaroo meat today

Today, many Australians are reluctant to eat the national emblem for various reasons. For many, it's the "Skippy factor" based on Skippy the Bush kangaroo - a 1960s television series that convinced Aussies that this animal was too cute to cook with. For others, it's just the idea of ​​eating a kangaroo; Simply put, eating kangaroo is like eating the Disney character, Bambi. As a result, kangaroo meat is no longer a preferred meal and is seen as a new meat, similar to emu and crocodile.

Although some supermarkets and some restaurants still stock various parts of kangaroo meat, it was found in 2008 that only 14.5 percent of Australians claimed to eat kangaroo meat at least four times a year.

Culinary name

So many Aussies refuse to eat the meat simply because of the initial thought of "eating kangaroo". Attempts have been made to introduce a specific culinary name for the meat - similar to how meat from a pig is called ham and pork. A major competition was launched with the support of the Kangaroo Industry Association. After three months and over 2,700 entries from over 40 nations, the name was created in December 2005 australus decided. However, the competition was not binding and the industry did not adopt that name.

Other finalists in the competition were Maroo, Kuja, Rooviande, Kangasaurus, Jumpmeat and MOM (meat from marsupials).

Kangaroo | Courtesy of Tourism Australia / Auszeit Australien / © Roberto Seba

Author: Grady Martin

Grady Martin is a 33 year old journalist. Would-be social media fan. Internet specialist. Introvert. Certified thinker. Beer lawyer.