Of all the popular poultry cuisines, goose meat is simultaneously one of the most historically prominent and underappreciated. It seems as though this meat has fallen off of the map for many! Don’t let their sharp teeth deter you- geese have some amazing things to offer the culinary world. In this article, we’ll show you exactly what you’re missing out on if you’ve never had some of this delicious bird for a meal. From the origins of this meat to its nutritional value, by the end of this piece, you’ll be dying to fire up the stove and try your hand at creating your own goose dish!
The Origins of Eating Geese
Surely you’ve heard, once upon a time, the notion of a “Christmas goose” around the table during the holidays. The idea of the Christmas goose was popularized in part by Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol,” where the reformed Ebenezer Scrooge sends a prized goose to the Cratchit family. This story, being a classic, has left a lasting impression on the tradition. But the concept of eating goose meat goes back much further than this!
You see, geese have been a part of human agriculture as far back as ancient Egypt. There are even depictions of geese in hieroglyphics! Romans were also big fans of this bird, and there are goose-related recipes found in their ancient cookbooks. Since they’re migratory birds, geese are found all over the world. Their commonality has caused them to become a culinary staple in many cultures.
Why Is Goose Meat Less Common Now?
If it wasn’t already obvious, you can’t easily access goose meat like you used to here in the United States. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most simple is that the industrialization of farming in the 20th century simply didn’t favor geese. Chicken and turkey were, generally speaking, considered to be easier and more financially favorable to raise. Those birds grow faster, require less space, and require less financial investment.
Another reason why the popularity of this meat has declined is because it has a thick layer of fat. While this can actually make the final product much more delicious, it can definitely deter those who are inexperienced and do their cooking at home. Since goose farming has declined, the availability of this meat has fallen for the average person. Prices have spiked, and what was once a commonplace meal has developed into a delicacy.
What Does Goose Meat Taste Like?
Now that you know it used to be incredibly popular, it’s time for you to find out why! The flavor of well-cooked goose meat tastes, oddly enough, more comparable to roast beef than any other kind of poultry. It even shares a similar appearance to beef. Though it is referred to commonly as “white meat,” it actually has quite a dark color. It becomes incredibly rich and flavorful once cooked because the juices from their thick fat layer intermingle into the meat.
How To Prepare Goose Meat
When preparing a store-bought goose, the hard parts of plucking and skinning have already been done for you. All you have to do to begin is remove the giblets and any large fatty areas, then get going! Don’t get rid of the fat, though- it can be used for other cooking purposes later on. From here, you have quite a few options. Most commonly, a goose will be roasted or boiled.
When it was earlier iterated that goose meat tastes and looks like beef, there’s something to make the process even simpler- it’s also cooked like beef! Tenderize and treat this bird as though it were cow meat as opposed to any other kind of poultry. Here are some other creative ways to do that:
- Grind the meat to make patties or sausages
- Thinly slice the meat to create goose jerky
- Dice it and use it in a stir-fry
- Marinate the meat as though it were steak
The Nutritional Value of Goose Meat
A little-known fact about geese, and subsequently their meat, is that they are incredibly healthy for humans. Aside from the amount of fat, which people should consume in moderation, their nutritional value cannot be understated! Here is an in-depth breakdown of the nutritional value of goose meat:
- Protein: Goose meat is notably high in protein, with up to 25g per serving.
- Vitamin Content: It’s a good source of various B vitamins, especially B6 and B12, which are very important for both your metabolic processes and the function of your nervous system!
- Mineral Content: This meat contains an abundance of important minerals like iron and zinc. Iron works to oxygen transport in the blood, and zinc is important for immune function.
- Cholesterol: Like other meats, goose meat contains a fair amount of cholesterol. That being said, the impact of dietary cholesterol on blood cholesterol levels is not actually as significant as once thought for most people. Still, if you have certain health conditions, you might want to monitor your goose intake.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Tygar L Bobermien/Shutterstock.com
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.