There are some of us who love to eat exotic food. Whether it is fried alligator or chocolate-covered grasshoppers, it’s kind of fascinating to experience the culinary world beyond the bounds of chicken and beef. But can you eat peacock, and if so, what should you expect?
Can you eat peacocks: There are different species of peacocks and the only ones you can eat are Indian peacocks. They are not vulnerable to extinction, and so it is legal to eat Indian peacocks in the United States, England, and China. However, Indian peacocks are the national bird of India and it is illegal to hunt and eat them there. You can also try peacock eggs, although peahens only lay four to eight eggs at a time, usually twice a year, so peacock eggs are very expensive. While peacock is not a typical dinner meal, you can slow roast the meat, grind it into meatballs, or use the bones for stock.
Who eats peacock?
Centuries ago, for those in the upper classes, meals were an elaborate affair. If you were entertaining, you went to great lengths to show just how creative you could be.
Peacock was one such bird that was regularly served. Often it would be cooked whole so that the feathers could be arranged around the cooked bird; after all, the spectacle of eating peacock lies in their feathers.
As for the poor classes, they most definitely did not eat peacocks. Peacocks were brought over from Asia to European countries and while you could find them wandering grand estates, you could not find them in any regular barn or slaughterhouse.
Nowadays, who eats peacocks is largely dependent on the region. For the most part, eating peacocks in North American and Europe is taboo.
However, certain Asian countries consumed peacocks, although now that their habitats are becoming scarcer, this is much less common.
What does peacock taste like?
How peacock tastes are largely dependent on diet. This is similar to other animals, such as grass-fed cows versus grain-fed cows.
For the most part, expect a gamey texture with peacocks, similar to wild turkey or pheasant. If it is cooked right it can taste tender, but this will also be dependent on how much exercise the peacock is exposed to.
Free-range peacocks that are allowed to have a more natural, omnivorous diet will taste gamier than peacocks that are bred for consumption and given a strict diet consisting of pellets.
Is peacock meat legal?
Whether peacock meat is legal is completely up to the area you live in. However, in the United States, there are no restrictions and it is not against the law. The same goes for the United Kingdom.
In India, the national bird is the Indian peacock, and since it was given this status in 1963, it became illegal to hunt and eat peacocks. Interestingly, before this act was introduced, many people ate peacocks because they were so abundant in the country.
Finally, within each law different species of peacocks may be protected. While it is legal to eat Indian peacocks in China, it is illegal to eat Green peacocks because their species is endangered.
Is it safe to eat peacocks?
Yes, it is safe to eat peacocks but like most meat, there are a few considerations to make note of.
First, you should treat peacock meat like a chicken. It should be cooked thoroughly with no traces of pink. This will ensure any bacteria is properly killed so you don’t get sick from eating it.
Second, you should research where your peacock meat comes from. Not all breeders are created equal and it can be hard to find reputable farmers that sell peacock meat.
Finally, always ask what species of peacock is being sold. Even though it is illegal to eat Green peacocks, you want to do your due diligence and make sure you are eating Indian peacocks, which are not at risk of extinction.
Benefits of Eating Peacocks
- Rich in protein – Like other sources of meat, peacocks are an excellent source of protein.
- Rich in vitamins – Peacock meat is a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, potassium, and iron.
- Low in cholesterol – Good for a low-fat diet.
Can You Eat Peacock Eggs?
If you are curious about eating peacocks but not sure about the meat, you can start with the eggs. It is perfectly legal to eat peacock eggs and many people enjoy the taste.
While larger in size, peacock eggs are quite similar to chicken eggs. There are, however, a few differences.
Expect the yolk part of peacock eggs to be sweeter than chicken yolks, and there is a larger ratio of yolk to egg whites. For size, peacock eggs are about three times the size of chicken eggs and the shells themselves are thicker.
The problem with eating peacock eggs is that there aren’t many to be had. Peahens, the female equivalent of peacocks, only lay about four to eight eggs over a 12-day period.
This process usually only happens twice a year, so it takes a lot of effort just to get a carton of peacock eggs. In contrast, most hens lay an egg a day, except for winter when their egg production slows down.
How to cook peacock?
If you are now sold on the benefits of eating peacock, the next step is to procure your meat and get cooking. It might seem overwhelming to cook peacock but if you think of it as chicken, it becomes a bit easier.
Peacock meat is fairly lean so it is best to slow cook it so it doesn’t dry out. Roasting is a good option for peacock breast meat.
If you have leftover meat, you can grind it up to make meatballs or even sausage. Furthermore, the bones and scraps of peacock meat make for a good stock.
While peacocks are gorgeous to look at, they are a type of bird and can be eaten. While not very popular anymore, it is legal to eat Indian peacocks. You can also try eating their eggs.