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Thursday August 21, 2014
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Adventures in Shopping

 

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Having always found it delicious, with a hint of the barnyard but tasting more of veal than lamb, I bought a leg. Soon I invited friends over to help sample subsequent experiments with other cuts. Then last year, with my husband poised at a milestone birthday and wanting to celebrate with a big bash, I toyed with the idea of roasting a whole goat. I began looking around to see what other places sold goat, who were their customers, and how those goats were cooked.

As it turns out, it's not hard to procure a goat in Ann Arbor--Sparrow Meat Market in Kerrytown occasionally gets in a goat from a local farmer, and all the halal meat counters in town carry it. (Halal means the animals were slaughtered in accordance with Islamic dietary law.) Goats were first domesticated in the mountains of what is now Iran, spreading west to the Mediterranean, east to Pakistan and India, and eventually to parts of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

You can see that history replayed at local markets. Abu Samer, Jerusalem Market's owner, says Greeks buy legs for Sunday dinner and whole baby goats for Easter. Indians and Pakistanis prefer boneless chunks, trimmed of all fat, for curries and stews. Arabs may roast a shoulder or leg with rice and vegetables, stew bony hunks, or saute the liver with onions or skewer and grill the kidneys.

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