Do People Eat Llama? What About Taste?

Do People Eat Llama

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Do people eat llama? What’s the Llama meat taste like? Eating Ilama meat is quite unheard of for many people, most people believe that only beef, chicken, mutton, and camel are supposed to be eaten. However, non-vegetarians are broadening the horizon by including exotic meat.

How safe is that? Is llama meat healthy? Many naive individuals believe that llamas are only bred and raised for wool, it is true though but they can be kept for their meat and milk as well. People who have a growing taste for exotic meats or an adventurous attitude to food may look for many out-of-the-box food options.

In many cultures, llamas enjoy a sacred position, presented as an offering to God or called ‘heavenly Llama’ who drinks water from the ocean and provides the rain from its urine. Apart from providing transportation services, they are the proud owner of the finest wool, even arguably better than the sheep.

Trained as professional comforters, According to Research, Llama works as a therapy animal at places that need cheering up. Scientists are taking llamas’ help in creating the universal flu vaccine. Being a herbivorous creature, the regular llama diet includes forbs, tree foliage, native shrubs, tender shoots, and lichens.

We introduced you to these good-looking creatures, we would like to come back to the query that brought you here in the first place. Is llama meat edible? Do humans like it? How healthy is it?

Can Humans Eat Llama Meat?

This thought might have crossed your mind when preparing for a delicious meat recipe that can we eat llama? It is indeed unusual, not an everyday dish, new to the taste buds, llama meat is eaten as a specialty dish in many countries. 

Llama is famed for its prized fur but its meat does not lag in popularity either. Demand for exotic meat is at an all-time high, llama, cane rat, scaly anteater, and monkey, it also poses a threat to an individual’s health. Not all meats are safer for humans to consume.

Peoples’ tastes are changing, they get bored easily with the same old food, especially non-vegetarians are looking to add a different kind of exotic meat to the list, what could be more exotic and delicious than Llama.

Now more than ever before, llama are turning up on the menus. On the conquest of discovering different flavors, people have started including llama meat into kebabs and burgers. 

Though still relatively rare, in many countries, it is illegal to eat llama meat due to multiple health concerns and standards. Being native to South America, the llama is a food source for centuries, initially turned into delicious servings by mountain people of Andes Mountain.

Which Countries Eat Llama Meat?

In old times, llamas were sacrificed to God every year and the meat was distributed to the crowd. 

This tradition of eating llama meat was started by the native people of Andes Mountain, soon, the word got out and people were curious to taste the flavor. 

Nowadays, llama meat is consumed mainly in the Andes Mountain bordering nations like Peru and Chile. Llama admirers in Bolivia, United Kingdom, and the United States also cook delicious llama recipes on several occasions.

Llama Meat Nutritional Content

Culinary experts say that llama flesh is leaner and tender than most animals. Llama meat is categorized as kind of a game meat. It is considered a relatively healthy option as llama flesh is high in protein and low in fat. It is definitely a go-to option for people avoiding cholesterol.

 It is deep red, tender, succulent, delicious, and being low caloric makes it an absolute favorite in the exotic meats range. It can be easily substituted for lamb or beef in many of your favorite recipes.

If you are a fan of llama flesh, you must have heard about the ‘Ch’arki’ at some point. Llama meat is called Ch’arki when it is salted and sun-dried. 

Loaded with a significant amount of vital energy-boosting nutrients like proteins and a low percentage of potentially harmful substances like fat and cholesterol makes it quite healthy. It may surprise you that 100 grams serving of llama meat contain only 120 calories. This is the reason it appeals to so many fitness fanatics.

If you want numbers, here is how many nutrients a 100 grams of serving contains; 1 gram carbohydrate (3%), 3 grams of fat (23%), and a whopping 21 grams of protein (74%).

Is Eating Llama Flesh Illegal in the US and UK?

However, it is not readily available in the mainstream retail market but it is legally allowed to eat llama meat. Whereas in the UK, it is legal to consume llama flesh under certain conditions if killed by an approved slaughterhouse and passes the necessary health inspections. France does not allow its citizens to feast on Llama meat.

How Does Llama Meat Taste like?

Being close relatives to camel, llama meat is somewhat similar to that of camel’s. Exotic meats specialists suggest that llama flesh is a perfect blend of beef and lamb. Like all game meats, it is lean and easy to chew as it is succulent and juicy. Also, It has a soft texture.

How To Cook Llama Flesh?

Llama meat is prized for its versatile nature, it easily alternates other meat in many renowned recipes. It can be made tastier using different cooking methods like baked, fried, and grilled. Formulated into several cuts and styles to enhance its flavor and culinary value.

Turn this flesh into steaks, stew cubes, sausage, ground, sirloin, and strip loin. It can be added to multiple vegetables using a wide variety of spices.

Llama’s heart, liver, tongue kidney, and spleen are also cooked and consumed.

Llama Meat Recipes

The most famous dishes made with Llama meat are cazuela de llama, lomo de llama, and salame de llama. Other dishes where it is either used as a substitute or main ingredients are Llama Burger, Llama Diced Steak, Llama Haunch Roast, Llama Haunch Steaks, and Llama Striploin Fillet Steaks.

Where to Buy Llama Meat?

Do not expect it to be available at the local retail store or butcher shop. Exotic meat and food items are usually harder to find and are not generally available in the local market. 

However, you can find such products online in abundance and different varieties are available for you to choose from. If not online, look for the specialty or exotic food establishments nearby that deals in exotic foods. Read our guide about meat and the cost of llamas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you cook llama?

Yes, llama flesh can be cooked using several techniques and methods. Bake, fry, or grill, however, you like. As it is tender and leaner, it can be cooked quickly than beef.

Can you drink llama’s milk?

Well, not if you are lactose intolerant as it contains more protein and lactose than cow’s milk. Apart from protein and lactose, llama milk also contains 

calcium (1701 ppm), phosphorus, and potassium in excess.

In a nutshell, not as common as beef, lamb, mutton, or chicken but it sure is popular with exotic food lovers. Banned in some countries while allowed in others, llama meat has gotten mixed reviews from people. It is safe to eat and considered a healthy option by many exotic food experts.


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