Disclaimer: We do not endorse the consumption or poaching of exotic animals. This is for educational purposes only and these descriptions have been taken from testomonies from people who have eaten such animals.
Have you ever wondered what some of the more exotic meats taste like? While some people have eaten more game meat than others, most people have not tried some of the rarest or more exotic meats such as whale or kangaroo, or even elephant! However, these animals and many others are eaten around the world…so what do they taste like?
Hippo meat is regarded as being very good, high-quality meat. It has been described as being slightly sweet and is not considered gamey. Its profile is often compared to being between pork and lamb.
Hippo meat is regularly eaten in parts of West Africa. However, it is not very common meat, not due to its taste or quality, but due to the dangers of hunting hippos. They are one of the most dangerous animals on the planet and cannot be farmed. This makes obtaining any hippo meat a dangerous quest.
Hippo meat is also illegal in most areas as they are a protected species and cannot be legally hunted. The meat does show up on markets from time to time, but when it does it is generally purchased up quickly and disappears.
Whale meat tastes similar to moose or caribou and does not taste like fish. The meat is often described as gamey and tough. This why a lot of whale meat is dried, marinated or otherwise heavily sauced. However, some people still enjoy plain, raw whale meat as sushimi.
Whale meat is highly regulated in most countries but is still served in some restaurants in Japan.
Giraffe meat is often described as having a sweet taste. The meat is sometimes described as being tough and other times as being extremely tender. It seems that how the meat is cooked plays a big part, with the rare meat being more tender.
Giraffe meat itself is not illegal. However, the hunting of giraffes is highly controlled. It is possible to find giraffe meat offered at restaurants around the world and even in the US.
Popular in the American south, alligator meat is considered a delicacy by many. The meat itself has a firm texture and a mild flavor. It is often compared to chicken with a slight fishy taste.
Alligator meat is legal and is readily available in many locations both within the US and in other countries. Alligators can be hunted or farmed for the meat.
Moose is a very lean meat with a firm texture and gamey flavor. This is due to moose storing their fat reserves between their hide and their muscles for extra insulation.
Moose are hunted for meat in the northern US, Alaska, and Canada. The meat is legal and considered a major food source for many people in the far northern ranges. An average moose will yield 300 to 400 pounds of deboned meat.
Gorilla is said to be a rich and fatty meal with a texture similar to veal but with a salty and overall unpleasant flavor. Gorilla is illegally hunted and eaten in parts of Africa. However, the species is highly regulated and its meat can only be attained through poaching. It does turn up as ‘bushmeat” at markets in Africa from time to time.
Often compared to beef steak kangaroo meat is red meat with a strong gamey flavor and is tender when not overcooked. Kangaroo is very lean meat but is still able to remain tender unlike other lean meats such as venison, which can become tough if not prepared properly.
Kangaroo is popular on menus in Australia and can be found offered at restaurants across the globe. The kangaroo can be legally hunted throughout Australia.
An elephant is often described as being unpleasant-tasting with an off texture that is a mix of fatty, gelatinous, and coarse. While the elephant is often hunted as a food source in countries such as Cameroon, Central African Republic, and the Republic of Congo, the meat is highly regulated outside of the African continent.
Bear meat is rich and fatty meat with a mildly gamey flavor and resembles beef in texture. The overall flavor of bear meat is based on the bear’s diet leading up to its harvest. Bears feeding primarily on salmon will have a fishier taste whereas bear feeding on berries would have a sweeter taste.
Bear is hunted for meat across the globe. Eating bear is legal in almost all areas and is a major food source for many, especially in the northern reaches of North America.
Penguins are not often hunted due to their limited range. However, when people have documented them being hunted and eaten they generally report the meat as being undesirable. It is said to have a similar texture to beef but with an oily and fishy flavor and aftertaste.
Penguins are protected from being hunted for food except under dire circumstances.
The world’s largest rodent actually tastes like pork. The Capybara is eaten often in South American and is considered a delicacy by many. The meat is said to taste like salty pork with a very slight fishy flavor. Capybara meat is often eaten during lent since it is classified as a “fish” by the catholic church.
Lion meat is said to taste like pork but with a stronger, gamey flavor. The meat is also regarded as being tough due to the lack of fat in the meat.
Lions have been hunted for thousands of years and the practice still occurs today. However, modern lion hunting is highly regulated in Africa. The meat does end up in specialty markets and is even available in the US at times.
Often considered to possess magical powers tigers are eaten in parts of China. They are said to taste similar to pork but with a very dry and tough texture and little flavor. Tigers are endangered and hunting them is illegal. Tiger meat does turn up from animals who die in captivity in exotic markets across Asia where it is considered a delicacy.
Zebra meat is very similar to horse meat since they are in the same family. A tough, and gamey red meat that is often described as chewy, zebra is eaten in South Africa and the meat can be found in exotic markets across the globe.
Sometimes called “ocean pork” dolphin is said to have a flavor similar to beef liver with a firm texture and is deep red meat. Killing and eating dolphins is prohibited in most areas of the world. However, they are still captured and eaten, especially in Taiwan. Dolphin meat is very high in mercury which can cause serious health issues.
Animals come in a wide variety of flavors and textures. While some may seem similar to other animals or even familiar due to a certain trait or aspect, they all have their own unique profile. It is also a good chance that regardless of what the animal is, people eat it in some part of the world.