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April 05, 2005

Eat a camel?


I'm sure you're wondering about camel meat...I've not had it yet, and need to hurry if I am, because I leave in less than 2 weeks. There's a chance I may get a slab tomorrow, and if so, we'll barbeque it up this weekend to celebrate my impending departure. Which will result in cognitive dissonance, since I'll be eating one of my favorite animals...I'll be sure to let you know how that goes.

In the meantime, there was an article in today's Arab News regarding the delicacy...

Camel Meat Fast Becoming a Rarity
Sameen Tahir-Khan, Arab News

ALKHOBAR, 5 April 2005 — Saudi Arabia is famous for camels but camel meat is fast becoming a rarity.
“We sell about 25 kilos of camel meat per day, compared to 200 kilos of other red meat. The older generation of Saudis like camel meat and they are the only customers now. The younger generation doesn’t care much for it and prefers chicken and burgers,” a Pakistani butcher explained.
The ship of the desert has been replaced by Cadillacs and Caprices and camel meat is being replaced by burgers and broasts. The butcher continued.
“We used to import camel meat from Pakistan. There was once a big demand for Pakistani camels as their meat was considered superior. In the past decade, however, camel meat consumption has dropped. In Riyadh, however, Pakistani camel meat is still popular.”
An average camel costs between SR1,500 and SR 3,000. (The most expensive camels are those which can run the fastest, i.e. racing camels.)
A big camel contains between 200-300 kilos of meat which sells for SR 25 per kg — boneless — and SR 20 per kg with bones.
“There is a lot of incorrect information associated with camels,” said an Indian butcher from Hyderabad.
“Everybody thinks that camels are very difficult to kill and that their meat is salty and strong-tasting.
“When I came to the Kingdom, I found that the animals are not difficult to slaughter and that the meat is often tender and good-tasting. The truth is that you cannot make a really good curry with camel meat but you can make good kababs and shawarmas.”
Most expatriates are curious about camel meat but only a few ever try it. “I had a camel meat shawarma,” one Pakistani woman said. “I didn’t like it because it was tough and had an unpleasant smell. “Every expatriate should try it once and all should visit the camel market.
“When I went, the Saudi camel herder looked at me in shock — probably because there were not many women there.
“He spoke some English which it soon became apparent he had learned from watching films. He let loose with a flood of movie dialogues which I supposed he had memorized from watching films.”


Posted by djf on April 5, 2005 12:28 PM
Category: News and Other Scary Stuff
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