- What gives meat a gamey taste?
- What does it mean for food to taste gamey?
- Is gamey a texture or flavor?
- Why do deer taste gamey?
- What does rabbit taste like?
Gamey meat is almost entirely a function of the flavors in skin and fat. Most of the stronger aromas we perceive in meat are fat soluble and reside in that fat. These birds’ diet of berries, forbs, lichen and conifer needles makes them the most pungent and powerful of all game birds.
Gamey tasting food almost always refers to the strong flavor detected in meat from an animal that was hunted—meat from a wild animal as opposed to farm-raised animal like chicken, pork, or beef. Gamey flavors are stronger and more intense than the subdued flavors of farm-raised animals.
So, what is a gamey taste? Gaminess implies a strong, savory meat flavor that may be slightly sour. Gaminess also describes texture as well, with most wild game having a very lean, tough texture due to the high amount of musculature within cuts from wild animals.
Venison refers to the meat of antlered animals such as deer, moose, elk and caribou. The ‘wild’ flavor of venison is directly related to what the animal eats. The ‘gamey’ flavor is more noticeable in the fat. Removing the fat, connective tissue, silver skin, bone and hair during processing lessens the ‘gamey’ taste.
The meat tastes a bit like chicken (though with a slightly stronger, meatier, earthier flavor), and it can be prepared similarly to chicken. For example, you can sauté it in oil or butter with a sauce made by deglazing the pan or in the style of a fricassee—partially in fat and then simmered in a braising liquid.