Unlike beef, goat meat never enjoyed popularity in North America. This may be due to North America’s vast plains, abundance of grass and the ethnic background of its original settlers. First nations never considered eating goat meat, they never saw one.
Now, with an increasing Caribbean population in an around large cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary), goat meat has become almost mainstream, but worldwide it is among the popular protein sources, because of it low high-density cholesterol content. It can be raised in mountainous regions and its food needs are less than those of cattle and sheep.
Goat was the first of all meat animals to be domesticated some 10 000 years ago from feral southwestern Asian and eastern European breeds, and used for milk, meat and their hair.
Goats are ruminants with four stomachs, breed any time of the year with a gestation period of 150 days for twins. Females are called nannies and males bucks or billies.
These versatile curious, intelligent animals can be house broken and used as pets although most are reared out-of-doors due to their odour. Goats are fastidious and prefer woody, shrubs, tress, and broad-leaved plants. They also eat grass but need clean water.
Goat meat in developing and mountainous countries is tough an contains little fat, in developed countries they are bred in “factory-like” farms with manufactured and formulated feed, yielding tender meat that tastes like lamb.
The meat is popular in India, Caribbean islands, and mountainous parts of France, southern Turkey to name just a few regions.
can be barbequed, stewed, curried, roasted, grilled, minced and used for stuffing, meat balls, sauces, and is even canned.
Over time, breeders developed strains for milk, meat and hide, including hair.
Nannies average daily three to four litres of milk at three-and-half per cent fat. Goat’s milk is naturally homogenized, and whiter than cow’s milk. Much of the milk is used to produce cheese, mostly called by its French name chevre.
Dairy Alpine, Anglo Nubia, Golden Guernsey, La Mancha, Nigerian Dwarf, Saanen, Oberhasli, Stieffelgeiss, Kinder, and Toggenburger are some of the breeds raised for milk, whereas Boer, Kiko, Rove, Spanish, Fainting Pygmy, Gemenast, Kalahari, Reo and Savanne are for meat.
Goat is widely available in Caribbean and Indian butcher shops in large urban centres with appreciable populations from India, Caribbean islands, and Middle Eastern countries.