When you think of the North American continent and all that it has to offer, you might think of things like white-tailed deer, elk, or bear. But few people realize that beavers are an important part of the local wildlife and their meat is popular with many.
Often referred to as “white meat” due to its light color, beaver meat is surprisingly lean and has a unique flavor. It has gained popularity with local hunters, and those looking to experience a different kind of wild game, but few people are familiar with it. So, what is beaver meat, and why is it so popular?
Beaver meat is actually the flesh of the large aquatic mammal found in North America. These rodents are usually found in freshwater habitats such as streams, lakes, and wetlands. Although many of these creatures will weigh around 40 pounds, there are some that can reach up to 60 pounds. However, most beaved harvested for meat are only around 20 pounds.
The meat of the beaver is considered a delicacy among some communities, as it is said to taste like a cross between pork and beef, while missing both the gamey flavor of wild game and the stringiness of beef. It is also quite healthy, due to the animal’s low fat, high protein diet. The flesh of the beaver is full of essential vitamins and minerals, most notably riboflavin, phosphorus, and niacin.
Cooking beaver meat is quite simple and usually involves baking or pan-frying, because of its low fat content. It is generally served in steaks, roasts, or ground meat and pairs particularly well with vegetables and spices like garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. You can even make hamburgers, sausage, and tacos with beaver meat, too.
But, how does one acquire this meat? Since beaver hunting is extremely regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, as well as local regulations, there are plenty of restrictions you must abide by. That being said, it is still possible to purchase beaver meat from your local grocer, butcher shop, or restaurant.
However, to truly get the most out of beaver meat, it’s best to hunt the animal yourself. If you don’t have the time or ability to do this, make sure the meat you purchase is sourced from a reputable butcher shop that has hunted following all regulations.
If you have the opportunity, beaver meat is definitely a unique experience you should add to your wild game feast. Not only is it lean and flavorful, but it is also healthy, making it a great option to add to your dinner table. Just make sure to take the regulations into account when you’re hunting or purchasing the meat.
Beaver meat is an unusual delight, but in many cultures, it is beloved and has been a source of sustenance for people for centuries. But how does this unique fare get from the wild to your dinner plate? In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the process of harvesting and processing beaver meat, from the field to the restaurant.
The first step in getting beaver onto the plate is harvesting it. This is typically done in two main ways: trapping and hunting. The trapping method uses baited metal traps set either in or near a beaver's burrow. While trapping can provide a significant bounty, it also requires that the animals be taken alive, which means they’re often restrained and released after harvest, a process that may lead to injury or death.
The preferred method of capturing beaver is hunting, which is done either with a gun, a bow and arrow, or even a spear gun. Hunting is not only considered much more humane, but it also allows for an efficient harvest, allowing the hunter to quickly dispatch a number of animals, should they choose to do so. Additionally, it presents fewer incentives for the introduction of invasive, non-native species and can help maintain the local population and its natural habitats.
Once the beaver has been hunted or trapped, the carcass is then processed for sale. However, before this can be done, the beaver must be skinned, and its fur, claws, and head removed. This is generally done by a qualified butcher, who is well-versed in this particular craft.
Once the beaver has been skinned and all usable parts of the animal have been removed, the meat is then cut into small pieces or blocks and packed in salt for curing. This improves the flavor of the meat and prevents it from spoiling. The meat may also be smoked, which is a process that gives the beaver a robust, smoky flavor. In some cases, it is even marinated in sauces and spices that enhance the taste.
Once the beaver meat has been processed and cured, it is ready to be sold on the wholesale market. This typically takes place at regional processing plants, where the beaver meat is inspected for quality and placed into various categories based on the animal's age, size, and the type of processing that it has undergone. The meat is then packaged for sale and sent out to area vendors and establishments.
Beaver meat is most commonly found in specialty stores or butcheries. Customers looking for it can also buy it online. The meat is usually sold in whole cuts and can be served fresh (uncooked) or cooked.
When cooking beaver, it is generally easier to work with if it has been previously thawed. If you cook the meat from frozen, it may end up tough and unappetizing.
Regardless of the method of cooking, some general rules should be followed. First, beaver meat is best cooked over low to medium heat so as to not dry it out. Secondly, it should only be cooked until it has reached at least 170°F internally, as anything less may not guarantee safety from foodborne illnesses. Lastly, the meat should not be overcooked, as this will make it dry and tough, and render it inedible.
On the Plate
Once the beaver has been cooked and properly cooled, it is now ready to be enjoyed. It can be served in a variety of ways, from a beaver burger to a beaver stew or even a beaver pie! In addition to being cooked and seasoned, the meat may also be dried, which makes it easier to transport and increases its shelf life.
When served in the traditional way, beaver is usually served soaked in wine, along with wild garlic and mushrooms. It may also be served with fresh herbs and vegetables, and is sometimes even combined with other meats.
So, as you can see, beaver meat is not only a delicious but also a unique and sustainably harvested source of food. From its harvested in the wild to its eventual appearance on your dinner plate, beaver meat has a long, fascinating journey. Whether cooked up in a stew or simply served as an exotic appetizer, beaver meat is sure to be a hit with animal and food lovers alike.
|Vitamin E||0.45 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.0016 mg|
|Vitamin C||0.003 grams|
|Vitamin B1||0.05 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.31 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.0022 grams|
|Vitamin B4||0.1299 grams|
|Vitamin B5||0.93 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.47 mg|
|Vitamin B9||0.011 mg|
|Vitamin B12||0.0083 mg|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 0.018 g
Daily Value 0.4 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 4.7 g
Daily Value 2.3 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
Daily Value 0.9 mg
Daily Value 0.055 mg
|Aspartic Acid||2.772 grams|
|Glutamic Acid||4.98 grams|
|Total Sugars||0 ug||
|Myristic acid (14:0)||0.18 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||1.57 grams||
|Stearic acid (18:0)||0.32 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||2.07 g|
|Oleic acid (18:1)||1.61 grams||
|Palmitoleic acid (16:1)||0.24 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||1.85 g|
|Linolenic acid (18:3)||0.28 grams||
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||1.07 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||1.35 g|
|Total Sterols:||0.12 g|