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Old 07-29-2011, 11:33 PM   #1
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Meat and flavour

hello all.

first i just want to say thanks to everyone who responded to my previous thread about cooking with herbs, i received so many helpful answers with a lot of info. great site.

now as for my current question... i'm a novice cook, trying to learn cooking with a sort of ground-up approach, and i've started cooking with meat recently. i've been doing it incredibly simply, so that I can learn about the meat itself first without adding any spices or external flavours.

i'm curious about which meats are more flavourful than others, and why? from the reading i've done, it seems like fat content has a lot to do with it. ie. duck (fatty) vs chicken (lean).. the duck has more flavour than the chicken. and same with fattier cuts of one animal. bacon (which comes from fatty pork belly) is more flavour than a porkchop (which comes from the ribs). I'm just wondering what people think of this, and if there is any more to this? It seems like the fat content being the only thing affecting the flavour would be too simplistic, and there must be other factors? but who knows. help me out.

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Old 07-29-2011, 11:47 PM   #2
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Hi Custard. I'm sure others can tell you more of the science behind it.

Fat content is one factor, but there are others as well. The texture of the meat, the type of meat (fowl, fish, beef, etc.), the method of cooking (frying, broiling, grilling, roasting, etc.), spices and other ingredients used along with the meat.

Take a small beef steak for instance. You will get totally different flavors if you fry, broil, grill, or boil it (yuck on the last one!). A medium-rare steak tastes different than a well-done steak.

Chicken can be fried, roasted, boiled, grilled, etc. Each method changes the texture and the flavor.

Some spices and condiments go well with one meat and not so well with another.

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Old 07-30-2011, 09:21 AM   #3
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Most of the fat in a duck is between the skin and the flesh. While that is a factor vs. chicken, it's not the primary one.

Chickens are raised in a controlled environment with processed feed. They are not allowed to exercise and don't fly. All because those factors effect flavor. Chicken producers strive for uniformity. Ducks fly, eat different foods (wild vegetation). Their flesh is darker because they eat greens and the flesh is exercised a lot. Plus, one is a duck and the other is a chicken. You can;t compare them one to one.

Within a species, there are differences some breed to breed but the key factor is probably what the animal eats. For beef, it's grain fed vs. grass fed.

Intramuscular fat is a key to flavor, not external fat. That's why you look for marbling in a good cut of beef.
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Most of the fat in a duck is between the skin and the flesh. While that is a factor vs. chicken, it's not the primary one.

Chickens are raised in a controlled environment with processed feed. They are not allowed to exercise and don't fly. All because those factors effect flavor. Chicken producers strive for uniformity. Ducks fly, eat different foods (wild vegetation). Their flesh is darker because they eat greens and the flesh is exercised a lot. Plus, one is a duck and the other is a chicken. You can;t compare them one to one.

Within a species, there are differences some breed to breed but the key factor is probably what the animal eats. For beef, it's grain fed vs. grass fed.

Intramuscular fat is a key to flavor, not external fat. That's why you look for marbling in a good cut of beef.
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