Monday, May 5, 2008


I tried ostrich at an incredibly strange restaurant here in Jacksonville, Florida. Full of stuffed wild animals, real live alligators, and (even more frightening) hordes of rednecks, Clark's Fish Camp offers a variety of "wild" meats as appetizers or meals. And by wild they really mean "farmed but weird".

I had attempted to try ostrich earlier in the day at another restaurant but they didn't serve it during lunch so, to stifle my sobs, my wife took me to this house of oddities. Overwhelmed with options, we decided to try the ostrich and the antelope (I'll get to the antelope in the next post).

I was expecting something resembling chicken or turkey based on my prior experience with bird flesh but what we got looked more like steak and I was immediately struck with an attack of paranoia and thought the restaurant was trying to trick us into believing this beef came from a big, flightless bird. However, as the first bite melted in my mouth so did my fears of a culinary conspiracy. The flavor did resemble that of steak or bison but there was definitely a note of turkey in there. Many would describe the meat as being "gamey" but that simply translates to "has flavor" in my book. The texture was also quite different, much more akin to its fowl relatives. They only offered the meat fried or charred so, wanting to experience the most flavor and the fewest calories, I chose charred which meant the meat was a little dry but still easy to chew. There was a notable lack of fat which is apparently typical of ostrich meat; less fat and more protein than chicken, turkey, beef, and pork. Overall, ostrich is a very tasty and nutritious meat.

Now I know what manner of beast I'm going to raise if I ever have a farm... but then again I haven't tried emu yet so, being Australian, I'll have to hold off on that decision until I sample some of my own native brethren.


1 comment:

Marcela said...

Wow! Sounds like an interesting place to eat at, haha. What other types of meat did they have there? I had never really heard of Ostrich meat myself until recently. I am currently working with and they sell many ostrich products, including ostrich meat and I always wondered what it would taste like. I wasn't sure if it would have an entirely different taste or if it would taste like chicken or something. I guess I might have to end up trying it out sometime! You should check out the website anyway. They have a few pictures of the meat on there as well. How was the antelope anyway? And props to you for trying out these different types of meat!! Have fun on your next trip to that restaurant :)