I know, there are several negative stigmas commonly associated with veal. Of course there are those that still stay away from it, but for those of us that enjoy the unique flavor and texture of veal, it is a delicacy. Dating back hundreds of years, the male calves of dairy cows were kept for breeding purposes, but as the dairy industry began to grow, the number of male calves was too large for just breeding and the veal industry also started to grow at a much faster rate. Today most veal calves are bred specifically for veal, but they are all males of differing dairy breeds. Most veal calves weigh between 400-600 pounds and are approximately 4 months of age when slaughtered.
There are two primary types of veal, the most common is milk fed veal, which is very pale in color, has a light pink hue to it and is white when cooked. The other is grain fed veal, which is darker in color than the milk fed variety. When cooked it is very light in color almost like the milk fed, but perhaps just a shade of pink to it. It is sometimes referred to as rose veal.
Merchants offers both varieties of veal in many different cuts. Our grass fed line is currently out of Canada and is called “Le Quebecois”. There are no added antibiotics or hormones. Their diet consists of corn, whole grains, milk formula and water. They are raised in multi animal corrals with natural sunlight. They are never deprived of food or water and live a comfortable life. Below are pictures of the milk fed and grain fed chops:
Milk Fed Grain Fed
Many chefs are now finding the grain fed veal to be better in many respects than the milk fed veal. The grain fed variety is typically 20-30% lower in price as well. Whether you are using rounds for cutlets, shanks for osso bucco or the chops, I urge you to try the grain fed veal and experience for yourself the amazing flavor and texture of the meat coupled with the humane and all natural processing; it really does shine through as a winner.
Merchants will also be introducing a line of veal products from Holland which will feature both milk fed and grain fed veal. It is a brand new line just receiving its import permits for the United States. We already carry it in St. Maarten and it has been a huge success. Look for it soon in the U.S.V.I.! Contact your Merchants Market sales associate today for more information!
Until Next time…Cheers!!!