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Old 04-26-2010, 01:19 AM   #1
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Opinions on Lamb

Not meaning whether you like it or not, just this question: Has anyone noticed that lamb is getting more bland tasting these days (this question mostly applies to U.S. readers, but maybe others are finding the same problem). Nowadays I would have no problem passing off lamb as beef, and it's been that way for years, and in many states. Right now lamb costs more than beef where I live, and we can mostly not tell the difference. I found, and paid premium price, for ground lamb and made a sort of Mediterranian meat ball with taboule, etc. But I could have used a medium grade ground beef and we wouldn't have noticed the difference. Is it that they're breeding them to taste more like beef?


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Old 04-26-2010, 01:26 AM   #2
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i'm not sure about the breeding, but i agree that american lamb has become much more mild tasting in recent years. i've found aussie/n.z. lamb still has good flavour, though.

i noticed this as my wife was force fed a lot of fatty, strong tasting lamb as a kid and wouldn't touch it as and adult until i made some frenched rib chops from american lambs one evening. she was pleasently surprised at the subtle taste.

then, i made some imported chops, and those horrible memories of childhood came back. lol, so now i only look for american lamb, although i do miss the stronger taste.

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Old 04-26-2010, 01:31 AM   #3
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maybe it was mutton
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:11 AM   #4
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I don't remember it when I was a kid, but Mom won't touch it cause of the strong taste. Well I wanted the kids to try some and made some frenched rib chops and gave some to parents. Dad didn't tell Mom what they were and she thought it was pork, how I don't know.(small pig) She liked it and thought it was pork. After Dad told her, she wouldn't touch it.

Pork is the same way, not much taste anymore. We gotta produce it as cheap and lean as possible. Everyone wants lean, but now I notice more and more wanting flavor and are not worried as much about lean. Some meat has had some fat added back to the cuts after processing. Makes "cents" doesn't it.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:46 AM   #5
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This seems to be the way with all mass produced fruits, veggies and meats these days. The flavor is bred out in the name of more profit.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:59 AM   #6
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I recently has some Pennsylvania lamb (Easter) and it was wonderful. Not as gamey as New Zealand (which I like) and also more tender, but it was still very lamby. Certainly the ground lamb I get at the butcher shop are lamby. But it is hard to get anything mutony these days, that's for sure.

If my leg o lamb starts tasting like roast beef I will be angry!
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:10 AM   #7
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I have never had lamb that tasted like beef.

That "strong" taste so many folks hate (me too!) is not lamb at all, but mutton. And generally mutton that has been overcooked.

I'm not aware of the "dumbing down" of American lamb, as the lamb I purchase comes from a small farm in upstate New York. I haven't noticed any change in the flavor of the lamb I eat in restaurants, however, I know that much of that also comes from artisan producers.

Seems to me that all "feedlot meat" has changed in flavor over the years to pretty much a bland, pale version of that which was. It's definitely not too late to get back the great flavor of grass-fed meat, and in fact, it seems that more and more consumers are demanding that, but it does come at a price. For a while, it will seem that meat is more expensive. but I contend that when we eat food that is healthier for us, we save money on the doctor bills in the end.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:27 AM   #8
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U.S. Lamb is suppose to taste like beef because they finish it with grain just like they do with beef. They run much larger than imported lamb and is great for people who have never tasted it before. US lamb's main purpose is make a bigger, milder product but is the only lamb to get a USDA grade, choice or prime. The Lamb spare ribs are the Bomb(smoked with rosemary)!

New Zealand Lamb is a much smaller breed that is completly grass fed and will have a deeper lamb flavor.

Ausi Lamb is a crapshoot; thier #1 purpose for raising lamb is the wool so they dont worry about flavor as much. If the wool market is strong, they will hold on to them longer wich puts too deep of a lamb flavor (closer to mutton). If the wool market is weak, they will sometimes finish with grain like the US and puts a mild flavor in their meat.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:33 AM   #9
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it has been a while since i have had lamb, but I hear more often that mutton is being dressed as lamb. I would imagine similar to beef and pork much of the flavor is being sacraficed for higher yield, lower cost, and faster time to market. Although some people do not like the lambiness of lamb. If you are looking for better tasting lamb, you want to look for grass fed lamb or lamb from a small local farm.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:47 AM   #10
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Less flavor = more profit? Nope. The consumer wanted/wants leaner meat, they got it. you don't just turn that stuff on/off like a light switch.

Also remember, for me anyway, that things always tasted better yrs ago. "It can't be me! It's gotta be the product!" Just say'n. Also, times change, tastes change, views, etc.

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