Is New Zealand Lamb Truly the Best?

Is New Zealand Lamb Truly the Best?

While lamb may not be the most popular meat in the United States, it has an excellent taste and is full of nutritional benefits. As a rich source of protein, lamb also has many minerals and vitamins to boost muscle growth and health.

Lamb is an incredibly versatile meat popular in several countries. With its humane farming methods, lamb is a favorite and traditional meal in New Zealand. The United States and Australia also produce lamb, but the quality and taste vary greatly.

So, is New Zealand lamb truly the best? Does American lamb taste better? Or does Australia provide a tastier cut?

Types of Lambs

New Zealand Lamb

In New Zealand, sheep outnumber people! In fact, there are roughly ten sheep for every person. New Zealand is the second-largest lamb exporter in the world. These animals are pasture-raised and fed a grass-fed diet their whole lives. 

They must be under 12 months old and without incisors to be labeled as lambs. Any animal over this age provides mutton meat, which is denser and tougher.

American Lamb

In America, lamb is initially grass-fed but finished on a grain diet. This feeding method makes American lamb heavier and higher in marbling. American lamb is any animal under 14 months before it’s considered mutton meat.

Australian Lamb

Australia is also a well-known lamb supplier. Like New Zealand, Australian lamb is pasture-raised and fed an all-natural grass diet. More recently, Australian lamb has been cross-bred with American lamb for larger cuts of meat.

Which Lamb Tastes Better?

Lamb has a different taste due to the varied feeding methods in each country. Since American lamb finishes with a grain-fed diet, it has a rich, beefier flavor. With cross-breeding, Australian lamb also takes on similar flavors to American lamb. On the other hand, New Zealand lamb tastes more “gamey” and has more of a traditional lamb flavor.

New Zealand Lamb is More Sustainable

New Zealand takes a more holistic approach to raising their lambs. The country’s beautiful weather creates the perfect environment for these animals to graze in pastures. Sheep are free to roam, keeping them healthier and less likely to develop diseases. They are smaller than American lamb but raised the way nature intended.

Lamb from New Zealand also has a lower carbon footprint. Additionally, with New Zealand’s stable climate and expansive, grassy fields, sheep can be raised all year long, which helps lower production costs.

The Best Lamb Cuts

Lamb has several cuts that make optimal meals, but the highest quality sections come from the middle of the lamb. Rack of lamb, lamb loins, and lamb chops are tender, juicy cuts of meat that are delicious in dry heating methods, such as grilling, boiling and pan-searing. 

Meaty lamb legs are perfect for roasting to enhance an aromatic flavor. Lamb shoulders are one of the tougher cuts of meat due to the animal’s movement. This cut is best for braising or stewing to create a more tender flavor.

Is New Zealand Lamb Truly Better?

So, which country has better lamb? It all comes down to personal preference. Some may enjoy the juicy and meaty flavor of American lamb. But if you’re looking for a lean, tender and healthier meal to serve, then New Zealand lamb is truly the best.

Are you planning a lamb dinner for a special event? At Tonight We Dine, our lamb is sourced from humane and ethical suppliers in New Zealand. This tender, grass-fed meat is the perfect centerpiece for any social event.

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