To most people, alpacas are bred for fibre. Although they are still kept for fibre, things are changing, and now the cute animal is the newest dish in town. Have you seen it on your menu? If not, then chances are you will soon come across it as the number of restaurants in Australia featuring this meat in their dish is growing really fast.
According to the Australia Alpaca Association, the demand for alpaca meat has grown tremendously over the last few years. By early 2016, more than 70 restaurants across Australia had alpaca meat in their menu. The number has definitely gone up due to the rising demand for this meat. Among the restaurants that have featured this meat in their dishes include Hungry Duck in Berry, Melbourne restaurant Pastuso amongst others. But depending on where you are in Australia, I’m sure there must be one or two restaurants featuring alpaca meat on their menu.
But this is not the first time that alpaca meat features in dishes as a delicacy. Do you know that it was once one of the most sought after meat by Andean inhabitants? Well, that is a fact. The meat has been a popular dish in this region of South America for decades. But in Australia, it had taken a while before the animal was considered a delicacy. However, the population is embracing it.
Reasons Why Aussies’ Demand for Alpaca Meat Has Been on the Rise
For more a decade now since the sale of alpaca meat was authorised, the demand has been rising steadily. The primary reason for this rise is the numerous benefits the meat has over the available alternatives. First, alpaca meat is more nutritious than most of the traditional livestock meat. The meat is very rich in proteins. You cannot compare it to most of the available alternatives in the market. That is one of the reasons why it is increasingly becoming popular with most Aussies.
Apart from diners referring to it as the sweetest meat, alpaca meat is one of the healthiest options in the market. It is low in fat and has the lowest cholesterol level for any meat. Therefore, the chance of bad cholesterol accumulating in the body is almost zero. Therefore, most of the health conditions associated with eating a lot of meat will never be a problem.
The third reason is the sweet flavour. Do you know that alpaca is one of the most flavourful meats in the world? Well, that is what most diners have said about it. To most people, meat tastes like a combination of beef and lamb. You just imagine what kind of combination that these people are talking about.
It is also important to mention that alpaca meat is 94 to 95 percent fat-free. Therefore, it is one of the leanest meat that you can find. That is another reason why it has become very popular in the market within a very short time. That is because lean meat does not cause some of the fast-growing lifestyle diseases in Australia. But that means the meat should be prepared carefully. Overcooking alpaca meat will make it not only horrible but also nasty. Therefore, you need a professional chef to prepare this meat.
Common Dishes Prepared With Alpaca Meat
Just like traditional livestock meat, alpaca meat can be prepared with plenty of dishes. However, you need to be a little bit skilled to prepare it considering it is one of the leanest meats in the market. Although a professional chef can help you get the most out of this meat, it does not mean that you can’t prepare it at home. There are many simple dishes where you can feature alpaca meat.
You can prepare its fluff balls in dishes such as braised ribs, Mongolian style cutlets amongst. However, various chefs now include this meat in most of the dishes that previously included the traditional livestock meat. You can also have sausages prepared from this meat. You just need to roast and marinate them to get a perfect texture and flavour. Do you know that you can prepare a barbecue from alpaca meat? Well, that is true. What you need is to cook it in high temperature to trap the moisture in the meat. That is how you get a perfect texture and taste. You can also get alpaca stew meat, hotdogs, steaks, amongst others. These are just a few of the ways that you can prepare alpaca.
There is no doubt that alpaca meat is here to stay if the current trend is anything to go by. The health and nutritional value of this meat are two main factors that will keep driving up demand for this meat. If you haven’t gotten a bite, you need to check out a restaurant near you that is featuring alpaca meat in their dishes.