Buffalo meat is obtained from large mammals called buffalos. The Bubalus genus contains several species, some of which are now extinct. Just like bovines, they fall under the Artiodactyla order. You'll recognize these animals by their huge and strong bodies, covered with dark fur. On their heads, buffaloes have massive horns which are sometimes curled up like a wreath. Using them they defend themselves from predators. Male specimens end up weighing more than the females. These sizable mammals are found in South Asia, Africa, China, the Balkans, Egypt, Italy and other regions.
History of Buffalo Meat
It is believed that buffalos were domesticated by man more than 3000 years ago. For their muscular physique, they were used to pull carts and plows. At the same time, buffalo meat and buffalo milk were used for food. In addition, humans discovered the positive qualities to buffalo hides.
However, some representatives of the genus are way too aggressive and do not submit to domestication. Unfortunately, at the time being, the number of buffalo that can be seen out in wild is not very high. In contrast, representatives of Bubalus are bred in farms mostly for their buffalo meat.
In European lands, these animals played an important role in the daily life of the peasants. During the Middle Ages and even before, they pulled carts and helped move large and heavy objects.
Buffalo farming developed rapidly throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. At the time the buffaloes were used for their meat and for transportation. Their milk continued to be used as a food source for the population.
Composition of Buffalo Meat
Buffalo meat has a rich composition, with consumption of it providing numerous benefits. It is a source of saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, water and proteins. In buffalo meat there is selenium, potassium, zinc, sodium, iron and more. It contains vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B12 and vitamin C.
Choosing and Storing Buffalo Meat
When choosing buffalo meat, the age of the animal must be taken into consideration since this determines the taste and culinary properties of the meat product to a great degree. Meat that is fit for consumption is red colored. It needs to be supple and not emit any foul odors.
If you can, buy the meat directly from the manufacturer because this way you can be certain of the quality. Of course this may require more time and effort. When you buy buffalo meat and cannot cook all of it right away, keep any extra meat in the freezer to keep it fresh.
Cooking Buffalo Meat
Buffalo meat can be heat treated without any problems. It can be fried in a pan or roasted in the oven or on a grill. All sorts of appetizing steaks can be prepared from it. It is used to enrich soups and stews. Buffalo meat can be put into dishes with rice or potatoes. Some chefs add it to spaghetti as well. It can be combined with all kinds of greens, including leafy vegetables such as dock, cabbage, spinach and nettle.
Additionally, it goes with brussels sprouts, beets, carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic, zucchini, eggplants, peppers, green beans, beans, peas. The taste of dishes that include buffalo meat can be harmonized with spices such as black pepper, white pepper, savory, allspice, spearmint, parsley, turmeric, oregano, basil, salvia and others.
It is used to make mince, in turn used to prepare appetizing kebab, patties and meatballs. Salami, lukanka, sujuk, dried sausages, jerky and other sausages are made from it.
Benefits of Buffalo Meat
The healths benefits of buffalo milk have been known for a long time. In recent years, there has been greater attention paid to positive qualities of the meat of these large mammals. Experts note that in comparison to beef it is actually healthier for the body.
This meat product has 40% less cholesterol than beef. At the same time, buffalo meat is a source of more proteins and minerals. Buffalo meat is also admired for its content of omega-3 fatty acids.
A study carried out not long ago by experts from the University of Milan showed another curious benefit. According to Italian nutritionists, it is ladies especially who must focus on eating buffalo meat since it is so abundant in iron, for they lose significant quantities of the element during their monthly period. Further, eating this meat product has a good effect on women's body shape.