Regardless of where you stand on tucking into the fluffy, goofy-looking creatures, alpaca meat is a thing. And the consumption of alpaca meat is on the cusp of becoming the latest foodie fad in Australia, with more than 70 restaurants stocking the so-called superfood.
Alpaca meat is incredibly healthy – it’s lean with very little saturated fat and cholesterol – and, according to the Australian Alpaca website, farming the animals for the meat industry is growing Down Under.
“It is very lean and it is high protein – I don’ think it is horrendously different to venison, which is incredibly lean,” Senara Collings the owner of British alpaca meat company Hendra Farm. “I would describe it as a health alternative for the ardent carnivore. And I think alpaca is a really nice alternative to other red meats too.”
“It’s not a meat than can be treated in the same way as beef, pork or lamb as it has a particular cutting technique that our butcher has mastered. If treated and cooked properly, it is a very nice meat. But if I tried to advertise it as a superfood, people would probably laugh in my face.”
A superfood, however, is exactly what alpaca meat has been described as by Australians, due to its high protein value and low cholesterol count. But because the meat comes from small herds and requires a specialist professional to butcher the meat, a fillet of alpaca costs about AU$65 per kg, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.