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Old 05-04-2012, 10:23 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
On a more serious note I wonder what you could feed livestock animals that could alter the taste of their meat. It seems clear that there is a difference between grain fed animals and range fed animals. I bet bug-fed chickens taste different than corn-fed chickens.
I don't know that there's a detectable "bug flavor" in pasture chickens, but chickens are natural carnivores, and meat diets, meaning bugs, worms, small snakes, etc., do change the flavor of eggs. I know wild turkeys can eat so many chili pequins in season that the meat becomes too hot for a lot of people to eat.

There's the already mentioned widely known improvement in pork from turning them out in oak forests to eat acorns. And there are a number of varieties of cheeses in which an expert can tell you which season it was made because of the pasture plants available at those times. Of course, that's milk, and milk is closer to the intake, so to speak, than meat.

From my own limited but memorable experience, I know that beef running in wilderness and living on rough plants where there's little or no grass and certainly no trace of grain produce a depth and complexity of meat flavor that is absent in both grass and grain fed. But because of the traditional method of butchering laid out on a tarp without being hung, some of that flavor might have been in the blood.

Wild meat always has more flavor. Some, like feral hog, can become too strong, presumably from diet, since they are the same domestic species. It may not be entirely diet. Wild animals exert themselves more and more frequently, in additional eating an extremely wide variety of food that often changes with the season and that is almost always of more "interesting" taste than corn or pasture grasses. The two traits combined, might move the flavors created by foods into the constantly renewed muscles more rapidly and more thoroughly than in an animal that just stands there and eats all day.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:02 AM   #52
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What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. You were close, but no cigar. Nice effort.
Uh, I knew that. Really, I knew that.

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Old 05-05-2012, 12:27 PM   #53
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Parmigiano Reggiano derives its taste from the milk of a certain breed of cow that grazes in a very specific area.
Actually, any breed of dairy cow is permitted for making Parmigiano Reggiano, so long as it is raised in the specific area mandated for the cheese. In Italy currently, the two most popular are Italian Friesians & Jerseys - although other breeds can be used. The smaller Jerseys are increasing substantially in popularity because the milk has a higher fat & protein content which is better suited to cheesemaking, & the animals can be easier to handle.

The real government-mandated difference (outside of location) is that dairy cattle used for making Parmigiano Reggiano - grazing aside - can only be fed a certain diet including specific forage products. But really, any type of dairy cattle that provides milk of a protein & fat content suitable for cheesemaking can be used.

(I had to do a paper on it once - lol!)
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:41 PM   #54
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What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. You were close, but no cigar. Nice effort.
Naw. Nietzsche was goofy as a run-over rooster. Sometimes, what doesn't kill you cripples you and leaves you for dead beside the road.

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Old 05-05-2012, 01:29 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Bacardi1 View Post
Actually, any breed of dairy cow is permitted for making Parmigiano Reggiano, so long as it is raised in the specific area mandated for the cheese. In Italy currently, the two most popular are Italian Friesians & Jerseys - although other breeds can be used. The smaller Jerseys are increasing substantially in popularity because the milk has a higher fat & protein content which is better suited to cheesemaking, & the animals can be easier to handle.

The real government-mandated difference (outside of location) is that dairy cattle used for making Parmigiano Reggiano - grazing aside - can only be fed a certain diet including specific forage products. But really, any type of dairy cattle that provides milk of a protein & fat content suitable for cheesemaking can be used.

(I had to do a paper on it once - lol!)
Thanks for that. Now my information is more accurate!
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:12 PM   #56
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You definitely don't want to let your dairy cows get into the Jimson weed.

"What doesn't kill you..." is a fine motivational saying but it's just not true in real life.

IMO the difference in taste between free range chickens and factory chickens is enough that I think practically anybody could taste the difference unless the chicken was cooked in some very strong sauce (e.g. hot curry). Unfortunately the higher price of free range chicken makes it prohibitively too expensive for me.
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:28 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
You definitely don't want to let your dairy cows get into the Jimson weed.

"What doesn't kill you..." is a fine motivational saying but it's just not true in real life.

IMO the difference in taste between free range chickens and factory chickens is enough that I think practically anybody could taste the difference unless the chicken was cooked in some very strong sauce (e.g. hot curry). Unfortunately the higher price of free range chicken makes it prohibitively too expensive for me.
I am with you Greg. I only eat the thighs and drumsticks. And with the proper seasoning, I can make those pieces very tasty. I just can't justify the prohibitive cost of free range chicken legs, when I can make them very tasty myself with some love and just a little extra labor.
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:31 PM   #58
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What about canned chickens? Surely there can't be any derogatory issues associated with something like this.....
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:54 PM   #59
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Excuse me. I have to become friends with the toilet bowl. It is calling for the contents of my stomach. I cannot deny it.
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:00 PM   #60
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What about canned chickens? Surely there can't be any derogatory issues associated with something like this.....
O. M. G. !!!!!!!

I once bought a canned whole chicken to take camping as a sort of meal of last resort, like if I had been in the back country too long and didn't have anything else. (Meat or poultry kept in an ice chest with ordinary ice lasts 3 days maximum, my enthusiasm for the back country can sometimes exceed 3 days.)

It was disgusting! The best I can say is that at least I didn't go hungry. I'm sure the nasty dinner helped quell my appetite. I guess I've said everything tastes better when you're camping. If that's true then the canned chicken tasted so bad I would have thrown it out and driven to the store or a fast food place for something else. That's not an option when you're 3-4 hours 4x4 travel into the back country.

I take a few MREs now as emergency food. They're actually not that bad although I don't know what they'd be like on a frequent basis.
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