Monday, 18 October 2010

Eating Camel Meat in Oman

I’ve been meaning to finish writing about my trip through the sub-continent and Asia soon after I returned, but being home, settling back in to normal life has meant my priorities have been elsewhere.
But now I’m kinda settled I hope to get those blogs up and running in a few weeks or months.
I’ve eaten some weird stuff in my time, and sometimes I’ve paid the price for it as well. I do not recommend eating goat’s brains from a hole in the wall in Kathmandu, unless of course you have one hell of a strong constitution. I thought I did, but you live and learn.
One of the things I thought I would never eat was horsemeat. We ate it in Parma one time. Best meat I have ever tasted. Such great taste and flavour. It would have become my meat of choice, if only we could buy it here in England. Damn those animal rights people.
In Oman, those same animal rights people, that have more or less stopped us from being able to buy kangaroo or ostrich meat here, (although you can still get it from a stall at Borough market.) are thankfully nowhere to be seen in Oman.
Camel meat is readily available in Oman, although it is quite expensive and a luxury item in Muscat. But head out to Salalah near to Yemen’s border and camel meat becomes an everyday staple.

On the outskirts of this desert cum coastal city is a mini tent city that sells bar-b-q’d camel meat cooked on top of hot coals, and I mean on the coals, to a very hungry and demanding audience.
It’s a strange meat, it has plenty of gamey flavour, but this cooking method leaves a lot to be desired, especially as the cook whose tent we went to, was not really paying that much attention to the meat. I think he was too interested in a group of female students who had come for some camel meat also. His priorities were elsewhere for a while.

The meat was a tad over cooked and therefore was a bit chewy and stringy, but the flavour was there. The best bit was the smoky, charred fat that we ate as well. Oh My God I was in paradise. Imagine a piece of fat with a real gamey taste to it. Perfect.

The next day we tried another tent and the kid (he couldn’t have been more than 16) was cooking his camel on skewers over the coals. These were tender and juicy.  Those little cubes of delish camel meat alternating with cubes of small chunks of fat were a real delight to eat.
I never got to eat anything quite like this until we headed up towards Tawang in north east India, and had a few Yak dishes. Cannot wait to go to Kenya and eat at Carnivore’s


Mr Noodles said...

I've eaten camel in China. I can't remember too much about it though!

BTW Phoenix Palace in Marylebone serves a Chinese take on kangaroo, ostrich and springbok. I've not tried it though as it seems a bit gimmicky to me.

Mzungu said...

Could be interesting to try though, or maybe not.

Anonymous said...

i loved eating camel in ittin