Goat meat

Goat meat or goat's meat is the meat of the domestic goat (Capra aegagrus hircus). The common name for goat meat is simply "goat", while that from young goats can be called capretto (It.), cabrito (Sp. and Por.) or kid. In South Asian and Caribbean cuisine, mutton commonly means goat meat.[1][2][3][4][5][6] In South Asia, where mutton curry is popular, "mutton" is used for both goat and lamb meat.

Raw goat chops in an apricot glaze about to be cooked

The culinary name "chevon", a blend of chèvre 'goat' and mouton 'sheep', was coined in 1922 and selected by a trade association; it was adopted by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1928.[7][8][9]:19, however the term never caught on and is not encountered in the United States. "Cabrito", a word of Spanish and Portuguese origin, refers specifically to the meat of a young, milk-fed goat. It is also known as chivo.

In cuisine

Goat is both a staple and a delicacy in world's cuisines.[10] The cuisines best known for their use of goat include African cuisine, Middle Eastern, North African, East African, West African, Indian, Indonesian, Nepali, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Mexican, Caribbean (Jamaica), and Ecuadorian.[11] Cabrito, or baby goat, is a very typical food of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico;[12] in Italy it is called "capretto". Goat meat can be prepared in a variety of ways, such as being stewed, curried, baked, grilled, barbecued, minced, canned, fried, or made into sausage. Goat jerky is also another popular variety.


In Africa, among the Chaga people of Tanzania, a ceremonial goat (locally called ndafu) is gutted and roasted whole as part of a centuries-old tradition. The ceremonial goat is the preferred replacement to the wedding cake used in many weddings around the world.[13]


Southern Italian, Greek, Serbian, and Portuguese cuisines are also known for serving roast goat in celebration of Easter (in Italian cuisines, goat is used in spaghetti bolognese and lasagna as an alternative for beef), with the North of Portugal serving it as well on Christmas day;[11] goat dishes are also an Easter staple in the alpine regions of central Europe, often braised (Bavaria) or breaded and fried (Tyrol).

North America

Goat has historically been less commonplace in American, Canadian and Northern European cuisines but has become more popular in some niche markets,[14] including those that serve immigrants from Asia and Africa who prefer goat to other meat.[15] As of 2011 the number of goats slaughtered in the United States has doubled every 10 years for three decades, rising to nearly one million annually.[16] While in the past goat meat in the West was confined to ethnic markets, it can now be found in a few upscale restaurants and purveyors,[10] especially in cities such as New York City and San Francisco.[11] Costco stores in the Philadelphia suburbs keep whole frozen goats in a Halal case.[17] Brady, Texas has held its Annual World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-Off annually since 1973.[18]

Roasted kid

Latin America

Cabrito, a specialty especially common in Latin American cuisine such as Mexican, Peruvian, Brazilian, and Argentine, is usually slow roasted. In Mexican cuisine, there are a variety of dishes including Birria (a spicy goat stew) and cabrito entomatado which means it is boiled in a tomato and spices sauce.


In Okinawa (Japan), goat meat is served raw in thin slices as yagisashi.

On the Indian subcontinent, the rice dish mutton biryani and the mutton curries prepared in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad and Bihar, use goat meat as a primary ingredient to produce a rich taste. Curry goat is a common traditional Indo-Caribbean dish. In Bangladesh, West Bengal, traditional meat dishes like kosha mangsho and rezala are prepared using meat from a khashi, a castrated goat with meat that has richer taste and a milder, less gamey flavour.

Goat meat is also a major delicacy in Nepal, and both castrated (khashi-ko-masu) and uncastrated (boka-ko-masu) goats are sacrificed during Dashain, the largest annual celebrations in the country, as well as on other festive occasions. There are many separate dishes, which together include all edible parts of the animal. Bhutun is made from the gut, rakhti from the blood, karji-marji from the liver and lungs, and the feet – khutti – are often made into soup. Sukuti is a kind of jerky, while sekuwa is made from roasted meat and often eaten with alcoholic beverages. In addition to these dishes, goat meat is often eaten as part of momos, thukpa, chow mein and other dishes in various parts of the country. Taas is another popular fried goat meat dish in Nepal, particularly popular in districts of the central region.

In Indonesia, goat meat is popularly skewered and grilled as sate kambing, or curried in soups such as sup kambing and Gulai kambing.


A tajine of goat meat

Goat has a reputation for having a strong, gamey flavor, but the taste can also be mild, depending on how it is raised and prepared.[10] Caribbean cultures often prefer meat from mature goats, which tends to be more pungent, while some other cultures prefer meat that comes from younger goats that are six to nine months old. Ribs, loins, and tenderloin goat meat are suitable for quick cooking, while other cuts are best for long braising.[16] Despite being classified as red meat, goat is leaner and contains less cholesterol and fat than both lamb and beef,[19] and less energy than beef or chicken;[16] therefore, it requires low-heat, slow cooking to preserve tenderness and moisture.


Goats consume less forage than beef cattle. A hectare of pasture can sustain 25 goats or more, compared to five steers. A goat may produce 18 kg (40 lb) of meat, which is much less than that of cattle or pigs, often making goats unsuitable for modern meat processors.[16]

Nutrition information

Amount Per 100 grams
Energy  : 600 kJ (143 kcal)
% Daily Value
Total Fat 3 g 4%
Saturated fat 0.9 g 4%
Cholesterol 75 mg 25%
Sodium 86 mg 3%
Potassium 405 mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 0 g 0%
Dietary fiber 0 g 0%
Sugar 0 g
Protein 27 g 54%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1%
Vitamin D 0%
Iron 20%
Magnesium 0%
Cobalamin 20%
Vitamin B6 0%

See also


  1. Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd edition, June 2003, [https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/124371 s.v., definition 1b
  2. "Whose Goat is it Anyway?". Hindustan Times. 11 February 2012. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  3. O'Brien, Charmaine (2013). The Penguin food guide to India. New Delhi: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-341456-8. OCLC 874690463.
  4. Madhur Jaffrey, An Invitation to Indian Cooking, ISBN 0375712119, p. 49
  5. Jaffrey, Madhur (2011). An invitation to Indian cooking (1st ed.). New York: Knopf. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-375-71211-1. OCLC 713022617.
  6. Groene, Janet (1999). U.S. Caribbean Guide: Be a Traveler, Not a Tourist!. Gordon Groene (1st ed.). Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Open Road Pub. ISBN 1-883323-87-8. OCLC 40394137.
  7. Brianna Dyan Farber, "Ruminating on Ruminants: Goats and the People Who Raise Them in South Carolina", thesis, Master of Arts, College of Charleston, 2013, p. 19 full text
  8. Ball, Carleton R. (1928). "Comment on Dr. Kellerman's Criticism of the Committee Report on "Median Terms"". Agronomy Journal. 20 (5): 523–526. doi:10.2134/agronj1928.00021962002000050014x. The term "chevon," as a name for goat meat was created by "dismembering" chevre (French for goat) and mouton (French for mutton) and "using certain of the letters." It was devised by commercial agencies and appears in a recent publication of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Farmers' Bulletin 1203:19, revised 1926).
  9. Williams, G. P. (1926). "The angora goat". The Farmers' Journal. U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1203.
  10. Alford, Henry (March 31, 2009). "How I Learned to Love Goat Meat". The New York Times.
  11. Fletcher, Janet (July 30, 2008). "Fresh goat meat finding favor on upscale menus". San Francisco Chronicle.
  12. "Traditional food of Nuevo León". Gobierno del Estado de Nuevo León. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  13. What the Chaga Tribe Eats in a Day!! EXTREME African Food in Tanzania!!, retrieved 2022-06-28
  14. Severson, Kim (October 14, 2008). "With Goat, a Rancher Breaks Away From the Herd". The New York Times.
  15. "New Americans turn to goats to address food demand". My FOX DC. Associated Press. 2014-04-18. Archived from the original on 20 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  16. Scarbrough, Mark; Weinstein, Bruce (2011-04-05). "Goat meat, the final frontier". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2013-05-13. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  17. "Costco".
  18. McSpadden, Wyatt (July 2011). "Brady... Get Your Goat!". Texas Highways. Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  19. Kunkle, Fredrick; Dwyer, Timothy (November 13, 2004). "Long an Ethnic Delicacy, Goat Goes Mainstream". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2010.

Further reading

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