Natural World
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People Who've Eaten Exotic Animals Reveal What They Taste Like

Updated August 9, 2017 36.2k views12 items

Ever wonder what exotic animals taste like? Not all animal meats taste like chicken, though a surprising amount of them do. Chef Greg DeWitt, who has worked with a wide variety of game in his 20+ years in the industry, offers some advice for those looking to get more daring with their culinary adventures: beware the carnivore! Though several others who've eaten bear and other "meat that prefer meat" are far more effusive in their praise. 

There's a wide range of unexpected and exotic forms of meat out there. Some put cows to shame while others apparently taste more like a cup of Crisco. See what might be to your liking without having to join an expensive underground "flavor of exotic animals club" like in Marlon Brando's The FreshmanNote that if you're a vegetarian, this list will most likely not change your mind. If you're a carnivore, bon apetit! Though, if you're a fan of The Lion King, you might want to think twice before ordering the Simba L'Ronge.  

  • Rattlesnake

    How about food from an animal that could kill you with one bite? The New York Times described how "many compare [rattlesnake] with chicken, some say it's like alligator, and campers in the Southwest, where it's most often eaten, call it desert whitefish." It's recommended that you stick it in stews or chilis, where "spices and peppers lend the illusion of flavor." 

  • Photo: Kent Wang / Flickr

    According to Slate, "[whale is] similar to reindeer or moose. Whale tastes much more like its hairy cousins on land than its gilled neighbors in the sea." It's normally served with very little spices or seasoning, but for those who can't handle its "unrefined flavor," it's recommended that the whale be "cured, marinated, or slathered with a flavorful sauce." Mmm... Sriracha whale. 

  • Photo: Chen Wu / Flickr

    SoHo's Eight Mile Creek co-owner Andrew Jordan described in Esquire that "people in America expect [kangaroo] to taste like game meat, like buffalo or moose, but it tastes just like sweet filet mignon. Kangaroo is very lean; there's no fat on it at all." Aborigines from Down Under have been eating kangaroo for a very long time - 40,000 years. When it comes to cooking the meat, Jordan states, "We cook it medium rare to medium — any hotter any it gets too dry and stringy, and loses all its flavor."

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  • Alligator

    Photo: Artizone / Flickr

    On Reddit, Occamstazer raves about how good alligator meat is. "It's like a cross between chicken and fish. The texture is flaky like fish, the flavor is closer to a white-meat land animal like chicken or pork. Yum." According to Holly Beilin from The Greatist, "Alligator is low in fat and calories and high in protein - although those nutritional benefits are wiped away when you order it deep-fried, as it usually comes in the South." If you've got the opportunity to try alligator, Beilin says the best cut is the tail, "which has a mild flavor and a texture similar to veal."