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Is "gamey" really such a bad thing?

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Is "gamey" really such a bad thing?

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Humbucker | | Nov 16, 2007 10:19 PM

I'm always a little annoyed when I read lines like "lamb was great; not at all gamey" or "yuck, the goat curry had a gamey taste" in restaurant reviews. Why has gamey become a pejorative term? I believe "gamey" is just something that some people like and some don't; like sourness, bitterness, or cilantro, and shouldn't be treated like an inherently negative attribute.

As someone who is fond of powerful and pungent flavors, gamey taste is something I actively seek out. Wouldn't people who don't like strong-tasting meat be better off just avoiding lamb, duck legs, mutton, etc. instead of eating it and hoping that it doesn't display too much of its intrinsic flavor? Obviously, if something is rotten or past its prime, that's a legitimate complaint, but I don't think gamey-ness necessarily has anything to do with rancidity and may actually be how things are supposed to taste.

Is it hypocritical for Chowhounders to bemoan the practice of breeding the flavor out of produce in favor of consistent appearance while also turning their noses up at meat that is properly handled but is just too flavorful for them?

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