The Unvegan

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Strange Meats: Kudu and Impala

Oh antelope, how deer-like you are.
Oh kudu, how deer-like you are.

On the first day of our safari, we spotted something strolling around the hotel grounds. To an untrained eye like mine, I thought it was a deer. But hey, I was in South Africa and deer are boring. It turned out to be an antelope called kudu. Kudu are pretty common, which is why, when I found myself being served kudu a couple days later I was only somewhat concerned that it was the kudu I had seen bumming around the grounds.

This impala is tame.
This impala is tame.

Yet, while kudu wasn’t deer, it actually isn’t far from it in the food world. In fact, both kudu and impala are referred to as venison when they come in meat form.

And to be honest, they both kind of have the same texture as deer. Both impala and kudu meat are tough compared to beef, yet have unique flavors. Kudu strangely has a bit of a sweetness to it, and it was definitely a sweetness coming from the meat and not the sauce. Impala, on the other hand, is closer in beef to flavoring, and doesn’t at all taste like a car.

Oh, hey, possible kudu dinner.
Oh, hey, possible kudu dinner.

Yet, while I was happy to eat such strange meats, neither the kudu or impala were really anything special. Given the choice, I would choose more traditional meats on a usual day. And anyway, they were much more fun to chase around in a safari jeep and photograph.