Zebra meat: Exotic and lean - but does it taste good?

The meat has just one tenth of the fat found in a same size beef steak

Fitness trends are cyclical. Everyone panics into getting fit soon after the Christmas bulge, before embarking on a second fitness binge in time for the formidable beach wear season. Veganism has done the rounds. Camel milk has had a recent revival. Kale is the new holy grail of everything - even breeding with the brussel sprout to produce new superfood the ‘kalette’ - and reality TV stars are launching must-have dietary supplements more often than they Instagram.

But now the call is for meat. Not just any meat. Bog standard lamb chops and pork sausages simply do not suffice anymore. A new trend might see us tucking in to a succulent slice of zebra steak, or maybe even springbok, bison or crunchy chermoula crickets.

UK fitness food site MuscleFood.com - a company who provide food to athletes including boxers Carl Froch and David Haye - have just added zebra steaks to their line-up of exotic delicacies due to its extremely low fat content.

With virtually no fat (0.5g per 100g), the meat has just one tenth of the fat found in a same size beef steak, and contains around one third less calories, with only 148 per steak compared to 230 in a rump steak.

With additional zinc to kick start your immune system and vitamin B12 to boost energy levels, it comes as no surprise that athletes including Great Britain Olympic sprinter Iwan Thomas have confessed their love for the Serengeti steak’s high quality protein.

The “sweeter than beef” meat with a “subtle game flavour” is cut from the hindquarter of the Burchell zebra breed in South Africa – the only breed that can be legally farmed for meat.

Darren Beale, founder of MuscleFood.com said: “These zebra steaks offer a real taste of the Serengeti and if they’re good enough for lions to feast on then why not us humans too?”

The success of the company’s horsemeat range of burgers, meatballs and mince has spurned the popularity of its stylish South African cousin.

Beale said: “Our customers are adventurous when it comes to trying new things so we decided to introduce the ultimate low fat high protein meat – zebra.”

The company’s move towards the exotic is not as new as you may think. Myfitnesspal and other calorie counting apps already list zebra meat on their food stores, and Raging Bull Meats on Finchley Road recently reopened as a South African butchers selling a safari’s worth of meat - both fresh and dried.

Last year supermarket chain Lidl divided shoppers when it launched kangaroo steaks as part of its luxury range Archipelago restaurant in London boasts an eclectic selection of unusual delicacies. From crispy zebra "jerky" and boerewors, to sweet-chilli smoked python carpaccio, to crocodile wrapped in vine leaves, the menu offers up a dream for any discerning carnivores.

But our adventurous palettes have left health officials divided, especially after the horsemeat scandal which found that unbeknownst to us those tasty Findus lasagnes and Tesco burgers were packed illegally with horsemeat that was sourced from dodgy farms as far afield as Rotterdam.

It is not illegal to sell meat that isn’t sourced in the UK providing that it meets certain standards set out by the Food Standard Agency (FSA) – so don’t worry, London Zoo won’t become a breeding pad and subsequent slaughter house for exotic species.  All meat must adhere to the required standards for labelling, die at an approved slaughterhouse and pass health inspections.

Providing all the legal requirements are met – what are the chances of this new superfood setting up home - just like the ‘exotic’ banana did over 100 years ago - and becoming a popular British staple?

For fitness – maybe. For steak and chips – it’s doubtful. Regardless of the meat’s health benefits, because of the low fat content its robust texture means that you have to chew yourself to fitness in order to digest it. It is best cut into thin strips and fried over a high heat for a very short period of time, or perhaps casseroled for a tasty zebra hotpot. But if you want to indulge in a steak, then you’re best off buying a beef steak.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £32,000 Uncapped

    £22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £10,000 Uncapped - Part Time

    £7500 - £10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness chai...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

    COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Digital Marketing Executive (CRM, Eve...

    Recruitment Genius: Receptionist / Sales / Customer Service Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: The role is likely to be 4on 4 off, days and ...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea