A lot of people HATE the thought of eating dog (or cat).
But, I’m not going to lie to you…
… dog can be really delicious.
Note: Keep in mind that this is not an article about whether it’s right, wrong, or ethical to eat dog or cat meat; this is simply an article about eating dog and cat meat.
As a world traveler and adventurous eater, I keep an open mind (and mouth) wherever I go.
When I was in China, I was able to have a few meals that not only included dog meat… but also cat meat! But let’s first talk about dog…
Eating Dog Meat
Spending time in Guangxi Province (southern China) I was able to enjoy meals that included dog a number of times.
A few local Chinese friends were just as excited as I was when they discovered that I too was a fan of the prized meat.
Dog meat has been eaten for thousands of years…
… and NOT just in China.
Central America, South America, Polynesia, Europe, North America, Africa, and of course parts of Asia have all been recorded as dog devouring continents (YES, in most parts of the world dog has been eaten).
But as of now, the most famous dog eating nations are China (Guangdong and Guangxi provinces), Korea and Vietnam.
Dog is a delicacy in China, it’s not an everyday meat like chicken or pork – it’s a fragrant meat that’s enjoyed on special occasions with friends and possibly beer. Dog meat should be eaten with respect.
Dog soup, braised dog, dog stew, stir fried dog and dog meat hot pot are all typical and common Chinese dishes.
What Does Dog Taste Like?
It’s a red meat, quite fatty, and extremely fragrant. Take a cross between beef and mutton, add extra meaty flavoring, and you’ve got the taste of dog.
The braised dog I ate was cooked in a clay pot along with huge cloves of garlic and chillies, it was mildly spiced with a splash of soy sauce and I detected a hint of cinnamon or anise in the mix.
Braised on high heat in the clay pot, the dog was cooked so the chunks of meat were extremely tender and slipped right off the bone.
If Kobe beef is the superlative beef of the world, dog is the crème de la crème of all meat!
It was so tasty and delicious that if it wasn’t for the “psychological thought of eating dog”, everyone would probably love it.
After eating dog meat, beef tastes flavorless.
Eating Cat Meat
Just like dog, cat meat has been eaten around the world. Nowadays cat is still enjoyed in parts of Peru, Switzerland and of course, China!
I’ve only eaten cat meat once, and it was alright, but definitely what I would call a little on the bizarre side.
I had no idea what to expect when I ordered a braised cat meat hot pot in China. I honestly was thinking the meat might be similar to chicken, but it surely wasn’t.
My preconceived thought of eating cat was blown away.
It arrived at our table, a giant intimidating wok medley of slow cooked spices, garlic, chives, and tons of little bite sized chunks of cat.
There must have been a half a cat in this dish!
My nose detected the delights of star anise and dried Sichuan chillies.
How Does Cat Taste?
Searching through the hot pot was a little bit disturbing, I could notice the various parts of the cat, like its entrails and even its teeth mixed throughout the dish.
The meat was not like chicken at all, it was a light colored red meat – not that deep dark meat like dog.
It tasted slightly similar to pork, yet full of weird little transparent fish like bones and with an ever so slight tinge of sour aftertaste.
I will say one thing, the boneless chunks were a lot easier to eat than the little boney pieces. The cat intestines were surprisingly good, tender and flavorful – some of the best intestines I’ve had.
Overall, the cat hot pot was tasty, but definitely not my favorite meat I’ve tried in this world.
Dog vs. Cat
In this gastronomic sampling of Chinese food, I’d have to go with dog. The meat was much more tender with a pleasant flavor. Cat on the other hand was average and not something to really look forward to eating.
If you’d like to see some graphic butcher photos, click here (but don’t say I didn’t warn you).
What are your thoughts? Would you eat dog or cat meat? Have you already tried them?