You probably have heard of how explorers of old also doubled as game hunters, sometimes using their bounty as meat in Kenya. You may also have heard of farms that rear wildlife as game meat and serve it to customers in their restaurants. This is all true.
Meat has been consumed for generations in Kenya and a variety of traditional types have stood the test of time. More recently people have begun to acquire a taste for newer types.
Did you know though fish is not considered a type of meat? The following is a list of various meat types you can find in Kenya which are widely used and some which are not so widely used.
Beef is one of the popular meat types you will find nearly everywhere you go in Kenya. It is obtained from cows (just in case you did not know!) and is one of the much sought-after types of red meat.
As the price of beef has risen other meat types such as camel meat are emerging as cheaper alternatives. Camel meat tastes like old beef. It is not as tender as beef and has a smell of the barn.
Chicken is also quite popular, particularly in western Kenya. It is recently more preferred to beef for health reasons, being a type of white meat. Kenyans prefer meat from indigenous chicken to broilers.
Pork is another choice, as far as meat types are concerned. Pork has, in the last decade, grown in popularity. It is red meat but less fatty than beef and is leaner.
Mutton, from sheep, is also a type of red meat. When it comes from a mature sheep it is called mutton otherwise it is known as lamb when it is from an immature sheep. Mutton is not among the popular Kenyan meats because it is often associated with triggering allergies among some people.
Since Egerton University publicly slaughtered and cooked a donkey to demonstrate it is safe for human consumption, donkey meat officially entered the list of allowed Kenyan meat types. There are still strong reservations locally and most of the donkey meat produced in the country is for export, mostly to China.
6. Game Meat
In Kenya, game meat is now becoming popular although the contribution of game meat is negligible accounting for less than 1% of the total meat consumed in the country. Game meat is exclusively served in selected high-class hotels and restaurants. It is also associated with big ranches that have to crop their game animals if they go beyond a certain level.
Kenya allows only two types of game meat – crocodile and ostrich. The two main farms that are associated with game meat are Maasai Ostrich Farm in Kajiado, about 35 KM from Nairobi for Ostrich meat production. Crocodile meat, particularly the Nile crocodile can be obtained from the Nile Crocodile Farm in Mombasa or Mamba Village in Nairobi.
Unlike most other bird meat which is white, ostrich meat is considered red meat and is fast replacing beef and other red meat as well because of its very low calories, fat and cholesterol levels which are even lower than chicken and turkey. It is said to have a much sweeter and richer taste than other types of meat and actually cooks faster because of its very low-fat content.
Crocodile meat is also now available in Kenya. Hotels, restaurants, exotic beach resorts and popular nightclubs are the biggest customers for this type of meat which they buy directly from crocodile farms. Crocodile meat is said to be higher in nutritional value than beef and pork and has lower fat content than chicken.
Next time you are in Kenya, venture out of your comfort zone and try something new? We would love to hear about your experience.