Types of Meat
The following are the four basic types of meat and the look, texture, and color you want to look for when grocery shopping.
The color of the lean portions of beef should be a bright red. Vacuum-packaged beef and the interior of ground beef should have a darker, more purplish red color because the meat has not been exposed to the air. After the beef has been exposed to air it will begin to turn the familiar bright red. Ground beef contains meat from beef only but in varying degrees of leanness from 70%-90% or more. When picking the ground beef remember that beef that is about 70% lean usually loses more fat in cooking, whereas beef containing 90% lean will lose more moisture.
Very young beef is classified as veal. Veal follows basically the same criteria as older beef. Veal is by nature a naturally lean meat and very easy to prepare. It should have a fine grainy texture and be creamy pink in color. Any fat covering should milky white.
Most lamb meats sold are usually from animals one year or younger, so it will be tender and tasty. Look for meat that has a pinkish red color. There should also be a very velvety texture. There is usually little marbling and only a thin layer of fat around the outside of the meat. The bones should be visibly porous and reddish in color, indicating a young animal.
Pork is the infamous "Other White Meat." The lean part (center) of fresh pork should be grayish pink in color and have a fine grainy texture. For ham, the lean should be firm, fine grained, pink in color, and free from excess moisture. The fat, covering the outer layer of the meat, should have a firm feel and be milky white in color. Sometimes you may notice a rainbow-like appearance to the surface of the meat, do not worry. This rainbow is caused by the refraction of light on the cut ends of the muscle fibers. The color is not harmful nor does it affect the taste and quality of your pork.
Exotic Meats and Special Orders
We can also special order any type of meat that you are looking for. Do you need a whole pig for a pig roast? Or maybe you are interested in dry-aged meats or something more exotic.
MaineSource is committed to bringing you only the finest exotic meats, including ostrich meat, buffalo meat and many other all natural and farm-raised game meats. Our exotic meats and game have long been endorsed by the some of the finest chefs. Now you can bring the same quality, taste and health to your home kitchen!