In Germany, a traditionally meat-loving country, pork, beef and poultry are very popular during the barbecue season. However, the range of meats on offer has changed enormously, with prime and exotic meats now expanding the choice for meat-lovers. A recent TÜV SÜD survey examines how adventurous meat-eaters are when it comes to more unusual types of meat from animals such as kangaroo, ostrich and snake.
Online shops and speciality restaurants are increasingly offering exotic types of meat. For example, the number of suppliers of prime meat (e.g. Kobe beef) or meat from non-European animal species is rising. Meat aficionados hankering for a taste of Wagyu beef or meat from bison, kangaroo or zebra can readily buy these types of meat in Germany today. Exotic meats offer retailers and restaurant owners a possibility of offsetting the drop in prices for standard meat categories such as beef or pork. But how open are consumers to exotic meats? TÜV SÜD examined this question.
The survey showed clearly that traditional game meats such as venison (33 %) and wild boar (27 %) are the most popular non-standard meat types. When it comes to more exotic meats, German households are far less adventurous. Only a few consumers have already tried ostrich, kangaroo, bison, moose or snake.
In Germany, the game meats preferred in the survey are subject to a number of regulations that ensure consumers are supplied with perfect-quality meat. For instance, anybody who places game on the market without official inspection is liable to prosecution. To protect consumers against radiation, game meat that is placed on the market must not exceed a radiocaesium level of 600 becquerels per kilogram, which generally does not pose a problem today. Consumers buying game meat should make sure they know where it comes from. Meat buyers who do not personally know a hunting ground owner or hunter should ask their butchers for information about the quality and origin of the meat.
Meat from game kept in reserves, i.e. from farmed game-keeping in regional game reserves, has also become more widespread on the market in recent years. Most wild game meat products are from red deer and fallow deer and are marketed from September to December, often directly.
Barbecue parties early in the year must generally do without game meat, as hunting these animals during the closed season at that time is unlawful. Foodies who want to enjoy game meat products early in the year too must remember to freeze fresh game meat in good time, so that they can enjoy it all year round.