Exotic meats

I like to try new foods; ostrich and alligator are both on my list.
No restaurant in my area serves them, but I found a butcher that sells the meat.

Anybody got good recipes for either?

Or suggestions for other exotic meats? I’ve had rattlesnake, crawdads, bison…

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You’ve certainly come across more options than I ever have!
My man has had 'roo, he says it was good. He likes rabbit as well.
You can get cheval in Quebec, I haven’t tried it. Bison is something we buy often, very lean & tender. Cooked like beef, no special recipes.
I had moose once, tough and gamey.
A friend’s been hunting, I expect some deer this year to try.


I’ve had all three, they were all just cooked on a BBQ much like steak, delicious


Kangaroo is a very lean meat, so it will dry out if overcooked.

Crocodile apparently has a chicken texture, but is more of a fishy flavour.

I have had camel. it’s like beef, but kind of tangy? I had it when i was about 10, so that’s all I remember, not sure if its the same as gamey.


My family used to get game from the local groundskeeper, mostly pigeon and hare. Hare was used mainly in a stew that’s typically eaten around Christmas and new year. I don’t have strong memories of how the pigeon taste.

I’m sure I’ve had cheval as well, because it’s not uncommon (where I live) that that meat is used in cheaper meat products such as ready-made snacks.

I’ve had kangaroo but don’t have strong memories of that either. I’ve had snails many times - I like them but they basically taste of all the herbs they’re prepared with, they don’t have a strong taste by itself I think. They’re only really available around the holidays here.

ETA: also reindeer in Scandinavia, quite nice. And wild boar - not exotic in my country but might be considered exotic elsewhere?

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What cool experiences! I had to google cheval.

I’ve had rabbit and goat and snails, and elk once. Wild boar in Hawaii, cooked in a pit in the ground.

I haven’t had emu, goose, quail or swan but have had wild boar, duck, goat, lamb, and snails.
I am never eating monkey, dog or bugs but I’d try most other things at least once.


Bear is quite good. Tastes like pork. And grouse has a lovely natural spicy flavor. I like elk, moose is okay. Dislike venison (deer).

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Oooh, goose! Never had that, either. Be a lovely christmas dinner!

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I’ve had gator bites, goose, duck, quail, pheasant, deer, squirrel, rabbit, bison burgers, escargot, fried crickets, iguana, crawdads, and frog legs. The only thing I was never able to eat were slugs…


I had to google cheval, too! I have not had it, but would if presented with it. It’s common on Sardegna and I’m disappointed I didn’t know that when I traveled there many years ago.

As I look at others’ lists I find it such a lovely curiosity that what is considered exotic is different based on who is making the list!

These are not considered exotic or unusual to me, partly living in Montana, of course, but also being raised in Oregon with a dad who was on farm boy growing up in a very rural area. Probably also, because TheMisterT is a bit of a foodie which influences our eating out as well as his cooking at home.

I have had emu, alligator, llama, pronghorn (antelope), nilgai (antelope), bear, boar, escargot, shark, octopus, caviar, frog legs.

Emu and llama were in burger format. Emu is available at a few grocery stores here, the llama was before I knew TheMisterT - a friend involved in 4H had some at a BBQ. It is so lean that they have to add fat to it. It was a delicious burger. Alligator was served on a pizza at a local chain that started in my hometown in the 1990s. We bought potted bear in Estonia and TheMister made ragu with it - pretty tasty, but we did it mostly for the novelty. I can’t imagine us ever cooking bear at home again. I have had boar pit roasted in Hawaii and then in ravioli on the mainland. I love escargot! And I think frog legs taste of swamp.

These don’t feel exotic to me: elk, various deer, moose, bison. We’ve found that the game meat we get tastes wildly (heh) different depending on what the animal had been eating. Mostly, what we get here from friends who hunt is not gamey. Whew! I hear that if you’re going to eat bear, you’ll want bear that hasn’t been eating a lot of fish! Until recently there was a captive herd of bison that I would drive by on my way into town - it was so fun to see the babies in the spring and in the winter all the snow on their humps and he billows of mist from their breath.

I’d like to try swam and am not sure if I have had goose. We’ve had duck and you can buy a whole duck at some stores here, same with rabbit which I have had - in hot dog format, even! In the US rabbit was a more common household meat like chicken is today in the early 1900s. ’

The Mister and I are pretty adventurous eaters. We will try most things, especially when traveling. I’ve had some common meats in less common ways, such as beef tartare (made by a James Beard awarded chef) and goat brains eaten out of the skull by torch light on a beach in Mexico! We’re both disappointed we didn’t find the rotten shark in Iceland. He tried a grub dish in South Africa and the fried crickets in Mexico. I would for sure go for stuff made with cricket flour, but I think I would have to be on vacation to eat one that still looked like a cricket!


So true…depends on where you live and what you have been exposed to…lamb is not exotic to me nor is octopus…but I could not eat a guinea pig (Peru), dog (China), or monkey (Bolivia) no matter how adventurous I think I am. A lot of the foods I have tried do require getting used to and many I would never eat again. I rarely eat meat of any kind anymore…mostly chicken and seafood…

Ugh…reminds me of another thing I will never eat again…sea urchin (uni)…or possum…or turtle…


Is duck not a common meat over your way?

A few people have added duck and I was surprised. We regularly have it at Christmas as a second meat (Not traditional and mostly because Bro doesn’t like turkey). Not this year though because I can’t be bothered to cook it!!

I tried ostrich, I think I made a red wine with chocolate rich gravy to go with it. It was a long time ago so I can’t remember whether I found a recipe or winged it.

Crocodile, was interesting, like a meaty fish

quail - I haven’t cooked but love the flavour, same with wood pigeon

I can’t remember what I ate in Estonia that seemed exotic :thinking:

Rabbit is reasonably common here, depending on location I guess.

There’s no frogs / slugs / snails and let’s add oysters into that passing my lips :nauseated_face:


We had duck for Thanksgiving instead of turkey. Not sure how common it is, but it is very expensive (I think we paid a little over $28 for a small duck for the two of us).

I love raw oysters but not raw clams…

I also think I couldn’t eat kangeroo…but I have had snake kabobs at the fairs, so who knows!


There are definitely animals I wouldn’t eat. Endangered species, intelligent critters like monkeys and dolphins, cats, dogs, and most other carnivores; they’re supposed to taste bad.

Yeah, I realize alligators are carnivores, and I guess many fish, too. Maybe their aquatic diet makes them tastier.

My dad talked about growing up in San Francisco in the 1930s. He would fish in the Bay; his mother didn’t like it when he brought home octopus, because it was poor peoples’ food.

They would go out to the country (San Leandro!) to buy guinea pigs for dinner.

Nonna made wonderful ravioli with calf brains and spinach. I was grossed out by the spinach. She served what looked like fried chicken once, turned out to be rabbit.


Pigs are as smart as dogs, or smarter. Octopus as well, incredible intelligence. Chickens have a lot of personality.
Possum, turtle, uni… I’m not tempted.
My grandpa used to hunt squirrel out of necessity, mom can’t really remember how it tasted.


Duck is fairly common here, if pricey. My father stopped hunting deer when I was very young, there’s a photo of my brother and sister ‘riding’ a dead animal.

I’ve had snake (Vietnam) alpaca & guinea pig (Bolivia/Peru) shark, crocodile, emu (Australia - At one little sandwich shop, the clerk suggested koala - to see my horrified reaction - I suspect he did that to all the tourists.) More locally, I’ve enjoyed squid, octopus, snails, oysters, frog’s legs, bison burger on bannock and chocolate-covered baby bees.

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I’ve had wild boar ravioli - delicious. And I do like the endangered things but I don’t eat them anymore (shark, for example .) I consume a lot of sushi and I know that I am decimating the tuna population but I can’t stop.

I’ve ridden on a camel but I wouldn’t want to eat one.


I just looked up flake (shark) served in Australia. It’s supposed to be from non-threatened species, but recent DNA tests found 23% are from threatened species, which makes me feel even worse… Then I remembered going to a wedding of a Malaysian-Chinese friend and having shark-fin soup - which is now, thankfully, banned here. I am attempting to become vegan in atonement!


If you change your mind about eating camel, I have a recipe for a Bedouin wedding feast:
Stuff fish into 20 chickens
Stuff the chickens into a sheep
Stuff the sheep into a whole camel
Boil, then cook over fire until camel is brown and crispy

Serves a couple of hundred guests.

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