Of Camels and Quandongs

Some Australian scientists are freaking out about camels and say we’ve got to start eating them.  Apparently, there are about a million feral camels living in the middle of this sunburnt country and they’re wreaking environmental and all other kinds of havock.

I’ve done my part to help the cause this year, if purely for selfish reasons since I get perverse pleasure in trying new and somewhat shocking foods.  At the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna, South Australia (a full review is coming one of these days) I sampled camel mettwurst on a pizza, and a camel sausage from the so-called Feral Mixed Grill Platter.

Let’s just say that both the camel mettwurst and camel sausage had an interesting texture– not quite as toothsome as I’d like.  I asked the woman serving us about the camel and she told me it’s a very lean meat (i.e. tends to be tough and somewhat lacking in flavor), which is probably why it ends up ground into mince and stuffed into a sausage casing with some added fat and seasoning.   From what I’ve had so far, I wouldn’t line up for more. 

But here’s the rub.  These feral camels could cause quandongs to become extinct!  They’re out there in the desert eating this beautiful, tart red fruit and I’ll be damned if they’re going to deprive me of the pleasure of a this quandong pie from the Stone Hut Bakery when I want one:

Oh. That. Pie. 

The quandong filling is really tart on its own, but with a bite of that shortcrust pastry and the cream– it’s a taste trifecta. 

So feral camels take notice.*  Quandong-loving Aussies have put a bounty on your head.  We’re going to find a way to cook you so you’re palatable, and then we’ll chase that camel steak or roast or sausage or whatever we turn you into with a quandong pie.  Now that would be a just dessert.


* Note: I realize that this issue is not the camels’ fault. The shortsighted people who brought them to Australia back in the 1800s without realizing the environmental impact they could have are the ones to blame.  I blame the camels merely as a literary device, so please, no one accuse me of not understanding the issue or hating animals.  I’m fully aware of the nuances of this problem.  Thanks.

6 responses to “Of Camels and Quandongs

  1. Why a cow and not a camel eh? What I don’t have time for is those who say things like, Oh those poor camels, over a steak dinner.

  2. HDR- Food taboos are interesting, aren’t they? I always laugh at the Americans who are aghast that we would eat cute and cuddly kangaroos, which really are just Australia’s equivalent of deer.

  3. Roo is a lean meat as well, but it has plenty of (good) taste and texture. I’m sure they could sell camel to tourists;)

  4. Yes, but no nearly as tasty as our deer, too tough!

    How about the people who say, Oh, you’re not going to kill Bambi are you?, whilst taking out their steak from the fridge. Have you been to Stonehead’s ‘how to skin a rabbit’ post? If not, check it out…some real crazy ideas about animals and food revealed!

  5. I’ve heard that camel is much like goat…though I’ve not tried it. Curry anyone?

  6. howlingduckranch,
    you say camel is too tough, then you say you haven’t tried it??
    Don’t be a sheeple, try it and then comment.
    Its good meat!

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