Are you one of those people who tried lamb once and didn’t have a good experience, so now you don’t like lamb? Or maybe you’ve never tried it! Lamb is probably one of the most dubious red meats here in the U.S.
In my younger years I thought I didn’t like lamb, until my husband and his big Italian family entered my life. At one of the many boisterous family dinners we attended leg of lamb was being served. When you are in an Italian household food is love and love is food. If you turn down food, it’s like saying, “I don’t like you.” So, of course I tried the lamb…and I liked it!
During our recent trip to Sacramento and the International Food Blogger Conference we were fortunate to go on the excursion where we learned all about lamb from Ryan Mahoney, a fifth generation rancher in Rio Vista, California. (Check out his Instagram account @CaliforniaSheepRancher.) A short bus ride from Sacramento lands you in the heart of our country’s bread basket. No wonder Sacramento is known as the Farm-to-Fork Capital of America.
The butcher at my nearby grocery store has told me for years that American lamb is milder with a better flavor than Australian or New Zealand lamb. (I thought he was just trying to get me to buy my lamb from him rather than Costco!) Ryan educated us on the reason for that better taste. American lamb is raised for the American palate and the wool is secondary. Lamb production in Australia and New Zealand is geared to the wool and the meat is a secondary market.
According to Ryan, the flavor of lamb meat is a result of the age of the lamb and the fat content. The older the animal the more fat they have, leading to a “lamb-ier” taste. Here in the U.S. the lambs are born, grass-fed and go to market within 9 months. Lambs from “down under” go to market later (so more wool can be harvested) leading to a different flavor profile.
The other part of lamb flavor is the preparation. The Italians in my life generally use garlic, rosemary and olive oil…how can you go wrong?!?!
Here is my favorite recipe for lamb chops; try it and let us know what you think.
This week brought us 4 more letters of the alphabet:
F is for Fish Dinner for Eight, after all, this is Great Eight Friends!G is for Garlic. Has your tongue ever experienced the silky smoothness that is Roasted Garlic? Get the info right here my friends, you will wonder why it took you so long to discover!I is for Irish…that is Fighting Irish Brown Soda Bread…perfect for football season!And K is for Kombucha, have you tried this new trend? We have it for you in a cocktail! A Kombucha Whiskey Sour.Be a Gr8 Friend!
Anna, Debbie, Kyle, and Jurga