Goat: It’s What’s for Dinner

Posted by Michele Marchetti on 08/17, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Goats at Common Ground Organic Farm. Photo Credit Nick Wiley.

If you really want people to think you’re weird, tell them you ate goat. Ever since my husband and I cooked up some goat sausages on the grill, I’ve been singing this meat’s praises. It tastes great. It has less fat and more protein than beef. But the conversation seldom goes any further. When the subject of goat arises, so does the red flag in our brain that controls what goes into our mouth.

I get it. The first time I saw the goat samples that Young American Growers was offering at Tait Farm, I kept on walking. It was 90 degrees and I was craving cucumbers, not goat meat. The second time I spotted the goat farmer, I stopped, mostly because I thought it would make a great blog. I tried a goat slider and was pleasantly surprised. It tasted great. Full of flavor, and light on the stomach. Next week I sampled goat tacos. The week after that it was goat sausages. My notoriously picky 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter devoured the bite-size portion, demanding more. Move over beef, I thought, goat is coming home for dinner.

Apparently I’m not alone. Despite the initial (and sometimes persistent) aversion many Americans have to goat meat, goat is the most frequently consumed meat in the world. Most of the goat consumed in the United States is imported from New Zealand or Australia. But here in Centre County, you can get your goat locally.

I recently spoke to Wanda White, owner of Southview Farm, who is partnering with Young American Growers to bring goat to the Happy Valley masses. White receives baby goats from Young American Growers when they’re ready to be weaned from their mothers (five or six weeks after birth); she then raises the kids for about ten months before harvesting them. Goat from the two farms have appeared on the menu at Zola, Elk Creek Café + Aleworks, and Mt. Nittany Inn. Some of White’s customers have taken the meat to Penn State tailgates.

People love the taste, and the fact that it’s actually healthy is a bonus. According to White, goat beats out all of the other basic meats in the category of lowest amount of fat calories per serving. Farmers love goats, too, because the animals see dinner and dessert in a field of weeds. “Goats just love burdock, sumac—things we’re desperately trying to get rid of,” White says. “If you have some small trees trying to take over any pasture, they can just rip those right out.”

It’s no wonder the rest of the world loves this animal. With taste, nutritional value, and functionality on its side, goat will eventually win over Happy Valley, too. So, go ahead, give goat a chance.

Goat from Young American Growers and Southview Farm is available at Tait Farm; the State College Downtown Farmers Market on Tuesday; the North Atherton Farmers Market on Saturday; and the Old Gregg School Winter Market, which is held in Spring Mills every Saturday, beginning in early October.

Tags: meat | farm |

{name} Author: Michele Marchetti

Bio: Co-founder of Homegrown Happy Valley

Comments

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
08/18 at 08:16 AM
South View Farm

If you REALLY want people to think you’re weird, tell them you raise goats!  This is my second summer being a shepherdess of goats, and I love it.  Those little guys are so cute when they come to our farm.  I grew up raising ponies and horses and chickens, and getting back to raising animals just feels right to me.  And the side benefit of the meat being so healthy for us just adds to the experience.  We had about 250 people visit Young American Growers @ Two Barn Farm for the farm tour, and many wanted to taste the meat as well as feed the baby goats.  So if you are interested in a sample, come see me this Friday afternoon at Tait Farm, or Saturday from 10-2 at Home Depot Farmers Market.  Thanks, Michele, for a great article.  Wanda White

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