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Donkey ... who eats donkey?

I'm looking through the Chow ingrediants and there's an entry for horse and donkey

It doens't sound too good ... "Donkey meat tends to have a very strong smell, and it can be tough."

So who eats donkey? It says it is usually stewed or made into sausages.

Some other more exotic ingrediants ....


"Armadillos have tasty meat that is light in color, finely grained, and tender with generous amounts of fat. When cooked, armadillo tastes rich and porky."

That sounds more like it. There's a warning not to eat roadkill though. Also handle raw armondillo with rubber gloves since it might carry leprosy... yeah, ok, pass on that.

One of the affinities for squirrel is sour cream. Serving size is one squirrel per person.

:"Young squirrel has rosy pink to light red flesh that is tender with a pleasing flavor and little gaminess. The flesh of older squirrels is darker red and may require marinating or long cooking for tenderness."

"Muskrat meat is tasty, fine-grained, and tender."

One muskrat will feed two. January through March is muskrat season.

"Beaver meat is dark red, rich, fine, and soft in texture, though rather gamy in flavor. The liver is large and almost as tender and sweet as that of a goose"

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  1. Sounds like we've been watching too much Andrew Zimmern. I believe donkey may still be eaten in parts of Italy.

    5 Replies
    1. re: markabauman

      I have a copy of a little cookbook from New Orleans that has recipes for armadillo and bear. Not that I'm planning on cooking them (especially after watching how difficult those armadillos can be to clean), but it's a neat peek into traditional Acadian/Creole food.

      Those of us in developed countries can laugh at this stuff now, but even 80 years ago during the Depression, many city folks in the US would have been delighted to catch a few squirrels to cook up.

      And if you happened to be crossing the desert with a donkey and your donkey drops dead, wouldn't you want to know how to cook it up safely and tastily so you could conserve the foodstuffs in your pack ;-)

      1. re: Panini Guy

        Sesame donkey was a standard in our home.

        1. re: Panini Guy

          We had squirrel a few times in our midwestern household when I was a kid, and that was even well after the depression. I think it was probably served as squirrel stew, but I remember absolutely nothing about how it tasted. It seems like our neighborhood squirrel population is increasing; maybe we should return to the old cookbooks and start having more squirrel dinners.

          1. re: Panini Guy

            I guess so, but now you gotta carry your own pack, plus the leftovers.

            1. re: Panini Guy

              It was a sad day when the new Joy of Cooking came out (the Ethan Becker one) and it no longer included illustrated instructions for skinning a squirrel.

          2. In rhe south people still eat squirrel pretty often. It's not bad either...

            1. Donkey and/or Horsemeat... aren't that unusual in Taco stands in Mexico. Some people have tried to sneak them in (people usually suspect it... there is a backlash), other people advertise it.

              In the city of Aguascalientes... the most popular vendor of Burritas (a 1 foot long burrito stuffed with thin meats sauteed with onions, jalapenos & asadero cheese... usually split by several teenagers) advertised the virtues of their proprietary blend of horse meat & veal (flavorful, sufficiently tender, low saturated fat).

              I've had armadillo once.... cooked in a pipian by an older lady from Chiapas.... simply sublime!

              1. I ate donkey salami in Italy a few years ago.It was very pink.We also had fawn salami, lots of rabbit and wild boar. I told my friends that I had eaten a petting zoo when I returned.

                I've eaten guinea pigs in Peru, wild hare gumbo (filled with buckshot) in Louisiana and deep fried raccoon in Mississippi. All delicious. But I couldn't stomach the cow eyeball taco I was offered at a taqueria near Philadelphia a while back ,my friend has eaten them and likes them alot.

                7 Replies
                1. re: missclaudy

                  I too had the Cuy in Peru... I've enjoyed Grasshoppers as well.... but Cow Brain & Eye tacos just don't fly with me either.

                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                    I bet you probably love lengua (tongue) tacos as much as I do EN.
                    Yup, grasshoppers are quite tasty too.

                    1. re: missclaudy

                      I really like Lengua... but rarely order it NOB. In Mexico, you get taco stands that really specialize in Lengua (including non-beef like pork, sheep etc.,)... and they will go through 20 to 30 whole tongues in an evening... its fresh, twice cooked resulting in a rich, browned exterior and a buttery, delicate center. Depending on your mood... you are either served a fresh & very herbal salsa verde, or a non sweet, bbq ish, complex, slow cooked red adobo.

                    2. re: Eat_Nopal

                      I've had cuy as well, and liked it; also had horse in Italy, and liked that too. Generally, I don't have many personal taboos except dogs, cats, and turtles. I also feel pangs of guilt about frogs but not enough not to eat them. I probably wouldn't do hummingbirds.

                      The point is—I don't feel disgust or revulsion when it comes to the thought of eating certain animals that our culture considers off the table. All I feel in certain personal circumstances is guilt. Anyone with me on that?

                      1. re: tatamagouche

                        My rule is simply not to eat something I've ever loved as a pet (cats, dogs & horses); we've also had sheep and chickens, but I had no love for any of them, hence I don't mind eating them. The rest are fair game (no pun intended).

                        I've enjoyed alligator, camel, boar, venison, bison, bear, frogs...but those really aren't that unusual (aside from possibly the camel?). My husband does not recommend opossum.

                          1. re: alkapal

                            his description:
                            "We had stewed rack of opossum and it was this really greasy, gamey thing with tiny ribs with barely any meat; more effort than it was worth. The fried plantains on the side were good."

                  2. Someone mentioned Donkey meat?! Good in hot pot at this restuarant in Zhengzhou, Henan, that serves Donkey meat Hot Pot. Donkey heart is very good sliced thin dipped in garlic soy sauce, but according to the Northeastern Chinese, there are specific parts of a donkey that is tastier than anything walking. (I'm not sure which part though....)


                    7 Replies
                    1. re: HLing

                      I had dried donkey meat with texture similar to lomo in Bulgaria long time ago. it was covered with a very nice mixture of dried spices...similar to spice mixes used in Egipt.

                      Couple of weeks ago while in YVR I had dried and smoked (or so the sales person claimed) horse meat at Oyama Sausage stand on Granville Island (http://oyamasausage.ca/oyama_sausage_... nice and unusual flavor...in a good way....but expensive ($59.90 per kilo)

                      1. re: HLing

                        "there are specific parts of a donkey that is tastier than anything walking."

                        Definitely not mainstream Mexican... but there are rural eateries that specialize in Donkey penis. In addition, to sexual lore... people will swear its the best meat on the planet. I will believe them from a distance. =)

                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                          Actually, burro meat is far tastier.

                          1. re: beevod

                            It may not be exotic to some but I do like alligator and it is not readily available in Indiana.

                            1. re: Candy

                              Yeah, I didn't mention alligator because in certain parts of the country it is a lot more common. Same thing with buffalo.

                              Here's the info about alligator ...

                              "Alligator has lean, light-colored meat with a mild taste that is somewhere between chicken and rabbit with a fishy aftertaste and watery texture. The choicest alligator cuts are the jaw and the tail, which is similar to veal in texture, light pink to white in color, with bands of hard, white fat that appear circular in cross-section and run lengthwise near the tailbone. The tenderloin is a cylindrical tube inside the tail. The body meat is darker, stronger in flavor, and tougher in texture (similar to pork shoulder). The leg meat is dark with small fat deposits along the tendons."

                              Choose a young alligator under 3 years old for best results.

                              1. re: rworange

                                Gator meat is so strange it is difficult to make comparisons. It is bland in flavor, and all-in-all is somewhere between conch and tofu for color and texture.
                                I have gators in my lake and I do not feed them but they are nevertheless my friends. I think.

                                1. re: Veggo

                                  Yeah, I ate gator on a family trip to Texas one year. Somewhat strange, but not as strange as I had anticipated. I remembered it being bland and chewy (maybe a bad cut of gator?), I mostly tasted whatever batter it had been fried in.

                      2. I've had beaver meat stew and it was quite good! not a lot of meat on a single beaver, though... only a huge rib cage it seems.
                        I've also had lynx, a surprisingly (to me) pale meat.
                        My father raised wild boar, so I had plenty of that and bison as well (from a neighboring "farm")

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: alixium

                          Saucisson d'ane (donkey meat sausage, salami style) is a regional speciality of the area around Arles, France. (Horse sausage is popular around there too) If you happen to be in the area around market day (varies from year to year, word just gets around) you are almost sure to find someone selling it, probably more than one.

                        2. I had donkey that had been marinated and grilled about 35 years ago in Brazil. Not bad at all, but tough as an old boot.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: rjbh20

                            Well, sure, it was cooked 35 years ago.

                            1. re: tatamagouche

                              bad tata, bad tata! (but i was thinking the same thing! {;^D).

                          2. Squirrel is good, but needs to be stewed or braised.
                            Capybara is best smoked, but great in a guiso as well. One of my fave meats.
                            Dog meat is too acidic
                            Cuy needs to be eaten in remote areas of Peru. Those served in touristy cities are anorexic.
                            Muskrat has a muddy flavor as do coots/mudhens.
                            Kudu, wildebeeste, impala, ostrich - all really good.
                            Giraffe, waterbuck, zebra, and hartebeeste - at the Carnivore in Nairobi - good but expensive.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                              The Quilted Giraffe had a long and distinguished run. I don't think a reincarnation named "The Quilted Wildebeeste" would attract the ladies-who-lunch set.

                              1. re: Veggo

                                But maybe "What's Gnu" would...? '-)

                              2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                Agree on squirrel, but as kids we used to shoot 'em, gut & skin 'em on the spot and roast them on sticks over an oak fire. We thought it was great stuff.
                                Capybara, agree too. While visiting students' ranch in the Beni, I, as the guest shot the one the ranch hands roasted.
                                Dog, maybe why my DIL's grandparents BBQ'd the ribs, stewed the meat, and made liver soup. (Staying away from dog this trip.Woof.)
                                Agree on cuy. One can find it on Roosevelt Ave in Queens, NYC.
                                Muskrat, agree, ate that as a kid too. Used to trap them and salt & stretch the pelt for pocket change. What a different time and today how non-PC. during this period of childhood/adolescence also shot and ate 'coon, groundhog, possum and groan, ate crow (yech) & illegal gull (yech too). Funny to think too that this was all done 28 mi. from NYC in the wilds fo NJ. My forest is now a McMansion subdivision.
                                Whale, just like beef.
                                Baby reindeer chops, deeeelish
                                Rattlesnake, only over a camp fire
                                Cow's udder, utterly deliscious.
                                And I won't get going on the live octopus thing. (had it 4 nights ago.).
                                Back to the original op question. Isn't it was goes in burritos?
                                Enjoy NYC like I am Seoul.

                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                  Eat something/everything there for us.

                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                    Every morning for breakfast we go out for a bowl of pork backbone soup. It breaks my heart to see local Korean restaurants being driven under by American chains. Last night saw full Subway next to closed noodle shop.

                                2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                  Used to be but not in recent years due to reduction in animals. at most what you get now is Ostrich (farmed), crocodile (farmed) and in migration season - gnu meatballs. Not that expensive if you figure they charge 32 dollars for all you can eat of the meat served up churascaria style, however ther do try and fill you up on bread, salad and normal cuts prior (spare ribs, sausages, grilled chicken etc)
                                  Best ostrich burgers I have ever had are at the annual craft fair

                                3. This post is bringing to mind eating camel. I live close to butchers that sell whole camels, and while I'm sure they're prepared similar to other Middle Eastern meat dishes, seeing the head of the camel just kills me.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: cresyd

                                    While traveling last year in Puglia, Italy, we came across a number of horse butchers; donkeys too.

                                    1. re: markabauman

                                      Horse and donkey regularly feature as pasta sauces in restaurants around Lake Garda.

                                      Horse is, of course, a popular speciality meat in France and parts of Belgium.

                                  2. I personally believe anything is edible if I'm hungry or desperate enough to eat it. As long as the thing I'm eating isn't poisonous or there's enough vodka to pass around...anything is fair game.
                                    It's the social norms that dictate what is allowable or not.
                                    Also... something passed around to 10 different people will elicit 10 different responses regarding taste.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: latindancer

                                      I lived in Belgium awhile back. When the chef sent out something at the beginning of a meal and it appeared to be some sort of "mystery meat", we termed it the "a mule bouche".

                                      1. re: markabauman

                                        that, markabauman, is brilliant! ;-)).

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          One dish that was very popular then (this was around 1970) was a dish termed "filet Americaine", which essentially was a steak (or horse) tartare. Don't know how the "Mad Cow" episode may or may not have changed this.

                                          1. re: markabauman

                                            It's still a popular dish, typically served on a baguette for lunch. I've never seen a horse version, but the raw steak version is fairly ubiquitous. The mad cow scare affected mainly the British, the French and Belgians don't let such things get in the way of their eating.

                                            1. re: BobB

                                              One thing I was reminded of about Belgium, while reading a letter to the editor in Gourmet magazine, was that Belgian fried potatoes- pommes frites- were often cooked in a mix of peanut oil and rendered horse fat. Served, of course, with mayonnaise. Don't know if they still use the horse fat.

                                              1. re: markabauman

                                                Interesting. I cook mine in either peanut oil or rendered duck fat, but I never tried mixing the two.

                                    2. I once saw a befuddled tourist in a resturant in Mexico who wanted bread and butter order "pan y burro" forgetting that the Spanish word for butter is mantequilla. The waiter looked at him seriously, and said "in Mexico, it is not customary to eat donkies."

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: ekammin

                                        I came across this recipe a few years ago, made me smile. I would eat pretty much anything. I draw limits at balut. Not a huge tripas fan, but I eat them on occasion.

                                        Stuffed Camel Recipe
                                        1 whole camel, medium size
                                        1 whole lamb, large size
                                        20 whole chicken, medium size
                                        60 eggs
                                        12 kg rice
                                        2 kg pine nuts
                                        2 kg almonds
                                        1 kg pistachio nut
                                        110 gallons water
                                        5 lbs black pepper
                                        Skin, trim and clean camel (once you get over the hump), lamb and chicken.
                                        Boil until tender.
                                        Cook rice until fluffy.
                                        Fry nuts until brown and mix with rice.
                                        Hard boil eggs and peel.
                                        Stuff cooked chickens with hard boiled eggs and rice.
                                        Stuff the cooked lamb with stuffed chickens.
                                        Add more rice.
                                        Stuff the camel with the stuffed lamb and add rest of rice.
                                        Broil over large charcoal pit until brown.
                                        Spread any remaining rice on large tray and place camel on top of rice.
                                        Decorate with boiled eggs and nuts.
                                        Serves a friendly crowd of 80-100.

                                        1. re: DallasDude

                                          I would need a larger pot.I'll see what they have at my neighborhood Camels-R-Us.

                                          1. re: DallasDude

                                            stuffed camel makes a big turducken seem like child's play.

                                            also, in honor of "stuffed things," i must return to "taco town." http://www.dhadm.com/mediaHolder.php?...

                                            1. re: alkapal

                                              Reminds me a bit of that recipie by that ancient Roman chef (I think it was Apicus) for how to stew a whole ostrich.

                                              1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                Close - Apicius. I have the 1926 English translation of his book. Although "recipe" is stretching it - in the original he just lists ingredients without specifying quantities, and gives minimal instructions. Also, it's not for whole ostrich - the only ostrich recipe in the book calls for it to be cut into pieces. Still, it's a fascinating glimpse into the world of Imperial Roman cooking.

                                                The aforementioned ostrich recipe, unannotated, reads:

                                                "Pepper, mint, cumin, leeks, celery seed, dates, honey, vinegar, raisin wine, broth, a little oil. Boil this in the stock kettle. Thicken with roux. Add ostrich meat cut in convenient pieces, sprinkle with pepper. If you wish it more seasoned or tasty, add garlic."

                                                He does include a nice recipe for whole flamingo, of which he notes, "Parrot is prepared in the same manner."

                                                1. re: BobB

                                                  and of course the (in)famous recipes for stuffed doormice.

                                                  That reminds me of a funny story from colledge. During one of our histroy lectures, our porfessor told us about chian, the "sacred liquid" cosumed by followers of the mystery cult of Diana at Ephesus. After going over the ingrediants "which as I recall, included vinegar, peppers, other spices, oil and cheese.) He asked "now would any of you like to have had to drink that" to which I replied "No, but I'm sure it would make a great salad dressing!"