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Old 03-05-2012, 02:33 PM   #61
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the flocking, or lack thereof.

like all good predators, she prefers to kill the animals she can single out easily.

some she keeps alive for a while...

jj/k. the lesser gameyness.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:40 PM   #62
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the flocking, or lack thereof.

like all good predators, she prefers to kill the animals she can single out easily.

some she keeps alive for a while...
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:44 PM   #63
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Most of the lamb I've bought was butchered by my local supermarkets (Ralphs/Kroger's, Albertson's, Von's), and I'm pretty sure they weren't from NZ. I'm assuming they're US products.

I've gotten a few cryovac frozen racks of ribs from Trader Joe's that were from NZ but I didn't notice any difference, although I've had them (or any NZ) very few times.

So I don't know that I have much to offer towards the question of whether NZ lamb has a stronger aroma.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:10 PM   #64
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We could also be dealing with different people's sensitivity to different smells. I can smell that meat will be off tomorrow. Most other people who smell that same meat tell me that they can't smell anything but meat.
I'm with you on that TL!
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:12 PM   #65
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I had a discussion with a friend about US milk vs. Canadian milk. I did read a rather long paper on the impact of different feed on the taste of the milk (cows feed a diet with a higher clover content produce a sweeter milk than those fed a diet higher in corn). I imagine the same is true with respect to meat as well. That may explain the difference between N.Z. lamb and U.S. lamb.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:34 PM   #66
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Although I don't have sufficient experience eating NZ lamb I think it's reasonable to conclude that NZ produced lamb has a stronger "lamby" flavor or aroma (or both) than US produced lamb, because of the different feed used in each country. I'm going to accept that as a fact since many DC members who I respect have said it's so.

Since I like the flavor and aroma of lamb I hope I can find some NZ lamb so I can see for myself.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:07 PM   #67
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Since I like the flavor and aroma of lamb I hope I can find some NZ lamb so I can see for myself.
If you can't find any, it's like the taste and aroma of the lamb your used to (me too) multiplied many times in gamey taste.

American lamb is fed grass during the raising (to get the gamy taste), which is switched to grain towards the end to make it more moderately gamy tasting. It's a shame that a lot of US lamb now is fed less and less grass. It's going the other way in taste, from mildly gamey to less gamy flavor. I think the reason is that raising lamb on grass is now too costly in the US. A sign of the times.

NZ lamb is raised almost exclusively on grass and therefore very gamy tasting.

I tossed out a 2.5 lb. batch of NZ made lamb curry when I couldn't find my usual US lamb at the store. It's that strong tasting to me.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:13 PM   #68
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I am really only familiar with the NZ lamb. I buy it frozen, packaged in NZ. It's yummy. It does not have a strong gamey flavour, but it has a flavour.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:24 PM   #69
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If you can't find any, it's like the taste and aroma of the lamb your used to (me too) multiplied many times in gamey taste.

American lamb is fed grass during the raising (to get the gamy taste), which is switched to grain towards the end to make it more moderately gamy tasting. It's a shame that a lot of US lamb now is fed less and less grass. It's going the other way in taste, from mildly gamey to less gamy flavor. I think the reason is that raising lamb on grass is now too costly in the US. A sign of the times.

NZ lamb is raised almost exclusively on grass and therefore very gamy tasting.
That's an interesting obvervation, that US lamb may be getting less gamy. I can't say for sure but it seems to me that my lamb the last few years hasn't had quite as "lamby" a taste or aroma as I recall. It could be my sense of smell may be declining, it could be I'm just imagining things, or maybe you're right.

Maybe US lamb producers are trying to get a wider lamb acceptance by toning it down. If so I'm going to be greatly disappointed because I really like lamb.

Or maybe it's just that grass is too expensive.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:56 PM   #70
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Or maybe it's just that grass is too expensive.
Grass itself isn't inherently expensive. The reason grass-fed meat is more expensive is because it takes longer to raise a grass-fed animal. As you might expect, grain fed animals gain weight faster than grass fed (imagine a diet of pure carbs versus salad). I don't know the figures for lamb specifically, but when it comes to beef, grain fed cattle are slaughtered at 14-16 months of age, compared to 22-26 months for grass fed.

I honestly believe the age of the animal makes for more intense flavor than what they are eating, but that's just an opinion. Also, keep in mind that grass fed animals spend their entire lives in a pasture getting exercise versus standing around in a crowded feed lot. That means the meat is leaner and a little tougher.

I stumbled across a good article on lamb, if anyone is interested. It also touches on the differences between Aussie/NZ/US lamb.
The Food Lab's Complete Guide To Buying, Storing, and Cooking a Leg of Lamb | Serious Eats
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