Donkey, horse, dog, squirrel, antelope, cat...

There’s a donkey discussion burgeoning on the Boston thread here
and I thought a dedicated donkey thread was in order.

What exotic meats have you eaten, and what do they taste like?

I have had donkey sausage in Germany at a backyard barbecue. It was the best sausage I have ever eaten. I don’t remember the taste because it’s been so long. But I’ve absolutely loved it.

Eaten antelope a number of times in South Africa. It was regularly on menus, as stews or steaks. Tasted like venison.

As for donkey, I’ve eaten it once in Northern Italy where it was on the menu as a ragu with pasta. Ragu tasted very much like beef but there was something of a fattier mouth feel. I liked it and would order it again in similar circumstances.

Squirrel is sometimes available at a local farmers market, although I’ve never bought. I think it’s the fact that it’s regarded as a pest that puts me off a bit. That’s the American grey squirrel , not our native red squirrel, which is a protected species nowadays. That said, as it’s a pest, there’s no closed season on shooting them, so I must admit I’m a bit surprised it’s not available often. Maybe the guy who sells them concentrates on shotting rabbit.

I actually had a “Exotic Game Grill” at my wedding. They had things like scorpion, rattlesnake, buffalo (no donkey that I can remember)and a variety of other exotic meats. That was 23 years ago and I was already intoxicated to really remember what they tasted like so I will go with the default; Chicken!

Horse in Belgium–it tasted liked filet mignon.

In Zimbabwe, warthog, impala, kudu, and some sort of sausage. The warthog was very tender and tasty, but the kudu and impala were merely tough.

In Kenya, camel and eland. The camel was very tender, sort of like very good roast beef. The eland was extremely tough without much flavor.

In Cambodia, various arthropods, fried. The caterpillars were a little sweet, the crickets a little crunchy, and the cockroaches a problem: they had a hard carapace and sharp points. There must be a special way to eat them (like lobsters). There were also locusts, and the spider (a tarantula?).

Moose in Scandinavia, but I’m not sure how exotic that is.


You are courageous. No way I can do it… no matter how delicious that can be. Physically they are the most ugly things on earth!


I have had so many wild meats/game/poultry that I probably can’t remember and name them all. (Although I haven’t had donkey, but I look forward to it in a European vacation some time.) Most tasted like meat, some like their sauces, and some prett gamey or rancid. Basically all the common and somewhat uncommon North American and European ones: bison (buffalo) deer, antelope, moose, elk, horse, rabbit, squirrel, bear, possum, racoon, skunk, fox, beaver, muskrat, porcupine, otter, marten, fisher cat, coyote, muskrat, alligator, bobcat, weasel, rattlesnake and other snakes, several varieties of duck, goose, quail, partridge, grouse, pigeon, dove, etc.

African: lion, giraffe, cape water buffalo, and many types of antelope and related species.

South American: guinea pig (cavy), and some weird critters in the Amazon. (I’ve also had cavy multiple times in NY; Queens, and Yonkers.)

In Asia I ate all kinds of weird stuff like scorpions, spiders, millipedes, and assorted other creepy crawlies.

Plus earthworms, bees, crickets, mealworms, silkworms, katydids, etc.

As for fish and seafood, I have had just about every type of fresh and salt water type available. Some were pretty weird.

Quite a few of those were from several Bronx Pipe Smoking Societies Small Game Dinners, plus travel all over the world (five continents so far, still have Australia and Antarctica.) Plus I have lived in the rural south, and off and on worked as a mountain/river guide in most wilderness areas in the US, for over a decade. Also I used to practice and teach wilderness survival.


Many things, have to think back. Horse meat is not taboo here. Some supermarkets sell horse steaks. In Belgium there’s chips topped with stew and gravy which usually has horse meat in it.

I like (smoked) puffin OK. This is one of the reasons I want to go to Iceland again. Fermented shark, guillemot breasts in Iceland. A whole sheep’s head in Albania. Seal, (smoked) whale, smoked lamb in Norway. Smoked lamb in Iceland is also nice but not like Norwegian smoked lamb. Enjoyed all the red meats in Namibia. Squid sashimi in Hokkaido. Reindeer steaks. Btw, seal is surprisingly nice.

Also ate new creatures from the sea on my recent trip to Korea: live octopus, “sea pineapple” sashimi.


Menu, also in Namibia.

Warthog is nice. Ate all of these game meats.

Wiggling octopus parts.

“Sea pineapple” sashimi. It’s like eating a live toad. Hard on the outside, blobby on the inside.

Mangalitsa pork products. Best enjoy them in Hungary. These days you can get Magalitsa products in Austria but at Austrian prices.

This is Mangalitsa pig.

Albania. The Greeks eat sheep’s heads, too. As do the Faroe Islanders and Icelanders.


In the Norwegian high arctic.

Has a strong mutton taste.


Norwegian whale meat for in sandwiches.

I made mine at home.

Not taboo in Norway.

Patagonian lamb I ate several times in Chile and Argentina. Exotic meat even for Chileans and Argentinians not from Patagonia. So good is this lamb.

I like congealed blood and blood sausages of all kinds but draw the line at drinking it. Saw it in Vietnam, to be drank from a little bowl. There’s probably more but I have to go through my travel photos.


Note that my avatar is me eating a spider!


But, was there horse on the menu?

(I really regret that late summer in France when I let my hosts dissuade me from donkey sausage at the farmers market – although I downed some lovely oysters with muscadet – and horsesteak at the local village restaurant.)

Thanks for the writeup.

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Donkey meat is delicious! One of the most flavorful things I’ve had.

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Had it in China, eventually, a couple of years ago. Yes, it was dense (as – I cannot resist – you might expect of donkey), and meaty and very tasty.

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My husband had cured donkey meat in Italy - he said it was delicious. I wasn’t there. Boo.

Deffo exotic if you live in northwest England. Although it presumably tastes like any other deer like creature.

And Presunto’s post reminds me of the whale salami and the reindeer one that were bought in Bergen. Truth be told, I didnt think they tasted much different from the more common pork salamis.

Ate whale the first and last time in Japan some 10 years ago, have to admit it wasn’t bad at all, quite tender, although ethically unacceptable, I guess the same goes to shark fin (didn’t miss it).

I have no dog in this fight, so to speak, nor on my plate, but FWIW am posting to recommend a comedy film, “The Freshman”, to those who haven’t seen it. The serpentine plot involves Matthew Broderick and Marlon Brando in a banquet featuring exotic species.


I always try and eat ethically but it’s a struggle to keep up with what’s OK with seafood and what’s not. Last year, I ordered a tuna dish at a place in Spain (and it was lovely). When I got home and Googled I realised it was one of the endangered tunas.

porcupine - spiky sharp bones
bat - not memorable, too little meat and over-fried
seahorse - fishy
dog - pork like
frog - delicious, tastes like aquatic reptile
alligator - delicious, aquatic reptile
scorpion, silkworms, mealworms, crickets, etc. - all these I find taste like how they’re prepared. crunchy tough exoskeletons acting as vehicles for seasonings

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Rattlesnake…far more fun to say you’ve eaten it. Bland white meat.
Emu…delicious lean red meat
Ostrich…another winner
Horse… no thanks. Once was enough.
Bear…like rich roast pork
Venison, pheasant, cartridge, quail, and wild boar…yes, please!
Rabbit…like it, but won’t seek it out.
Squirrel…too much work.

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