Llama meat is safe to eat and is eaten in many countries worldwide. It is a deep red, tender meat with a more intense flavor than more commonly eaten meats.
There is no shortage of llama meat cuts, coming in the form of burgers, steak, sausage, salami, tongue, ground meat, and more.
Due to the llamas’ rich history in Peru, it is most commonly eaten there, as well as in other South American countries, though is growing in popularity worldwide thanks to its high nutritional content and versatility.
Llama Meat Taste
Llama meat is lean and tender with a taste that is similar to beef, though richer. Even though llama meat is labeled as a game meat the meat is actually easy to chew, has a relatively soft texture, and is succulent and juicy.
Nutritional Content of Llama Meat
In addition to tasting great, llama meat is high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol.
According to a study looking at the nutritional properties of llama meat, the meat has almost half as much fat as more commonly consumed meat like pork and beef and also has more protein and less cholesterol.
Llama Meat vs. Alpaca Meat
Considering that llamas and alpacas are both part of the camelid family, there isn’t a great deal of difference between them, including their taste.
However, while both llama meat and alpaca meat are high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol, alpaca has a sweeter, more intense flavor.
Llama Meat Safety
Llama meat is generally safe to eat and its consumption is legal in most countries around the world.
As long as llama meat is purchased from a reputable retailer that has food hygiene standards in place, and is not eaten raw, it is safe to eat.
Popular Llama Meat Dishes
Llama meat can be prepared in a variety of ways. Some of the more common ways llama meat is prepared includes:
- Cazuela de Llama (Llama Stew) – Commonly prepared with potatoes, rice and carrots
- Lomo de Llama (Llama Steak) – Tastes similar to beef but with a more intense flavor
- Salame de Llama (Dry Cured Llama Sausages) – Particularly tender and flavorful for a dry-cured meat
- Charki (Llama Meat Jerky)
- Llama Empanadas
Llama Meat Consumption Worldwide
The llama is the oldest domesticated animal in Peru and is very much a part of Peruvian culture. The importance of llamas during the Incan Empire where they were primarily used to carry goods through the Andes mountains, though also for meat, wool, fiber, and fertilizer, cannot be overstated. This means that llamas are most commonly found and eaten in Peru.
Llama meat is also popular in other South American countries, particularly those found along the west of the continent.
The consumption of llama meat is also growing in popularity among Americans, the British, and several other wealthy, developed nations. Considering its taste and nutritional value, it’s no surprise that countries like the USA, UK, and others are starting to take more notice of llama meat.
Where to Buy Llama Meat
Llama meat is unlikely readily available to buy in your local supermarket, especially if you live in the United States or another country where the meat is very rarely eaten. However, llama meat can easily be purchased online or in person at your local llama farm.