Most of us eat or have eaten some type of meat in our lives.
Whether it’s chicken or beef, most meat-eaters don’t think twice when consuming such food.
However, when other animals are considered for consumption, many of us refuse to try it and think it’s plain wrong to eat such meat.
One example of this is a pigeon. Although one of the most abundant birds in the entire world, it is not eaten as much as another common bird, the chicken.
Pigeons are actually one of the most studied birds in the world with over 300 species currently living alongside us.
Chances are when you see a pigeon on the street or perched on a treetop, your immediate thought isn’t whether it would taste good or not.
Pigeons are just everyday birds. They are seen as vermin and pests by many so the thought of eating one seems unreal. Nevertheless, people do eat pigeons. And, maybe, you will want to as well.
If you’re thinking of trying pigeon meat for the first time but unsure what it tastes like, you’re in the right place. In today’s blog, we will be discussing its taste, how to cook it, and what type of pigeons people generally eat.
Before we discover what pigeon tastes like, let’s find out why you should eat pigeon.
Why Should You Eat Pigeon?
Okay, we’re not saying you must eat pigeon. If you have got this far in life without trying it, you can probably carry on living without it.
However, pigeon meat does contain some beneficial nutrients.
Pigeon meat is a great source of protein. This is essential in helping rejuvenate and repair cells.
Pigeon is also rich in iron which is important in the production of energy. If you are feeling somewhat lethargic, adding pigeon meat or a food with a rich source of iron could be beneficial.
Pigeon meat can also help promote a healthy metabolism thanks to its high levels of copper. Moreover, as we get older, our bones and teeth tend to become weaker.
Phosphorus can help strengthen bones and teeth and even help in the formation of them at a young age. Pigeon meat is abundant in phosphorus meaning it can help in this regard.
Pigeon is also high in magnesium which is essential for maintaining a strong and healthy immune system.
As well as this, pigeon is rich in Vitamin B3 known as Niacin. Vitamin B3 is hugely important for our bodies and without it, we just would not be able to function properly.
Lastly, pigeon meat has pretty low sodium and fat levels. It even has fewer calories than chicken breasts with 100 grams of pigeon breast consisting of 142 calories while 100 grams of a chicken breast holds 166 calories.
Therefore, you would think it would be a great option for diets or for those looking to watch their daily calorie intake.
However, due to a relatively high level of cholesterol and saturated fat, pigeon meat is not best suited for low-fat diets.
What Does Pigeon Taste Like?
If you still want to know what pigeon tastes like, let’s find out.
The only way we can describe the flavor of pigeon is to compare it to another popular meat, chicken.
All in all, pigeon tastes like gamey chicken. The same goes for the majority of game birds. In other words, it is quite rich, fat, and sweet.
Pigeon meat is actually popular in France, some Middle Eastern countries, and parts of Asia.
Its gamey taste suits a variety of dishes in French, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisine but it is certainly better suited for cooking rather than eating raw.
The meat itself is rather lean and white. If you have ever eaten dark chicken meat, this has a close resemblance to pigeon.
Compared to beef or lamb, pigeon meat tends to contain more protein and few calories and fat.
When it comes to the texture of pigeon meat, it is exceedingly tender. There is a very small amount of gristle making it easy to digest.
Along with the fat content of this lean meat, it is one of the easiest digestible game birds around.
However, you must be careful and precise when cooking pigeon. You mustn’t overcook the meat as its delicacy will easily dry out very quickly.
Even if you serve the meat hot from the oven, the texture could become too rough for many.
If you want to try masterfully cooked pigeon, your best bet is to eat at a French restaurant where the ‘pigeons a la crapaudine” dish originated.
Pigeon Vs Chicken: Which Is Healthier?
One reason why many people stay clear of eating pigeon meat is that they fear it is not as healthy as chicken.
Although this is a common belief, pigeons have been consumed for thousands of years in many cultures. And, there have been no reports of any side effects on the health of those who eat the meat.
In truth, pigeon meat holds more benefits for the human body than chicken. Pigeon meat contains less fat and has a higher protein content.
For those who would like to reduce the number of animal fats they consume, pigeon is considered to be the healthier choice between the two.
Also, there is no sacrifice to taste as pigeon is similar to dark chicken.
The caloric value of pigeon meat is also lower than your traditional chicken.
It also has lower levels of cholesterol (still quite high) and fat content making it a great food source for those living in developing countries.
Here, red meat can be very hard to come by due so pigeons are commonly cooked and eaten instead.
A pigeon’s rich source of protein is essential for the health of people who may struggle to achieve any source of protein otherwise.
Finally, it all comes back to the vitamins and nutrients that pigeons possess.
With rich sources of Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Vitamin E, and more, pigeon meat can be a beneficial part of any healthy, balanced diet.
Ways To Cook Pigeon
There are numerous ways of cooking the different parts of a pigeon.
That’s the beauty of this bird as you can eat the whole of it as with any game bird.
Here are some of the most common methods for cooking pigeon:
This is the part of a pigeon that is most commonly cooked. This has the grain of a top-quality steak and has an earthy, woodland flavor.
This is thanks to the diet of a pigeon that consists of acorns, berries, wild seeds, and more. For the best cooking results, pan-sear the pigeon breast for around one minute on each side.
This will help the meat remain soft and succulent. The breast also smokes wonderfully if preferred.
As with any game bird, the legs of a pigeon can be roasted, fried, or cooked in a water bath (sous vide). Nevertheless, we recommend you confit pigeon legs for an ultra-tasty dish. You can cook pigeon on barbecues
You can roast a whole pigeon and, due to its small size, it takes a lot less time than other meats. Simply sear all sides of the pigeon in a pan and then roast it in your oven.
You can also cover the pigeon in butter before roasting. Either way, it makes for a great meal for the family.
Pigeon meat can suit all kinds of cuisines from currys to pies.
With its gamey taste, similar to chicken, it remains a popular choice of meat around certain parts of the world.
Search for French, Italian, Indian, and Chinese recipes to try cooking pigeon for yourself.