Jamie Oliver

forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Thu 21 Feb 13 9:40am

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

"Gamy" - what does it actually mean?

I've never been clear on what the word "gamy" is supposed to mean. Obviously it describes the smell and taste of venison and other game, but the thing is, venison, pheasant, rabbit etc. don't taste in any way similar to me.

I've also seen it used to describe the smell or taste of well-hung beef, and specifically to describe the "off" smell of beef or game that have been hung for a particularly long time. I've detected a slightly offputting smell in well-hung beef that's been vac-packed, right after opening it, but there's no flavour in the cooked meat that I would describe as similar to game - just a strong, beefy flavour.

To compound my confusion, when looking up substitutions for goat meat, I find this thread on Chowhound where everyone keeps describing goat as more or less "gamy" than lamb:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/420199

Which I don't understand at all. I've had goat, lamb and mutton and none of them taste in any way similar to game or to well-hung beef. They taste, to a greater or lesser degree, sheepy - which is not a flavour which can be likened to anything else.

So what does this word mean? Does it just mean strong-tasting? if so, why don't people just say that?

So confused.

Last edited by hippytea (Thu 21 Feb 13 9:43am)

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#2 Thu 21 Feb 13 10:16am

wine~o

Forum champ
Occupation Handyman
From Dorset u.k
Member since Tue 21 Oct 08

Re: "Gamy" - what does it actually mean?

Where I am "gamy" means off or gone bad, as in "I've got a gamy leg"

"Gamey" is the word we use for that almost undefineable smell/taste, which is sometimes likened to a "farmyard" aroma.

Last edited by wine~o (Thu 21 Feb 13 2:46pm)

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#3 Thu 21 Feb 13 2:31pm

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: "Gamy" - what does it actually mean?

Gamy is a word used to describe very strong flavors in meat.  Usually it refers to game like venison, elk, and sometimes lamb.  I'm not sure what the technical meaning is, but goat is way too gamy for me to eat.

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#4 Thu 21 Feb 13 2:41pm

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: "Gamy" - what does it actually mean?

gamey to me is an odor and flavor that is sometimes much like what the animal smells like . . . sometimes goat smells like a goat, even goat cheese has that bit of eau de goat going on or game can almost smell a little like feet that have picked up a few aromas or wet dog fur, only not quite as strong.

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#5 Thu 21 Feb 13 5:22pm

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Re: "Gamy" - what does it actually mean?

wine~o wrote:

Where I am "gamy" means off or gone bad, as in "I've got a gamy leg"

I would've spelt that "gammy". I know what you mean, however, we use the same word.

Thanks for the responses, everyone. My problem is that the aroma of a farmyard, the flavour of goat/goat's cheese, and that "wet dog" flavour (which I recognise, cos you get that from salami sometimes, and I hate it), don't seem to have anything in common to me. It just seems strange to use the same word for all these things.

tbh, I had always assumed "gamy" meant something like "off-smelling", and was related to something being hung until it was high. The references to farmyards, feet and wet dogs seem to confirm that. I would just never have associated that with lamb/mutton or goat.

Last edited by hippytea (Thu 21 Feb 13 5:26pm)

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#6 Fri 22 Feb 13 9:08am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: "Gamy" - what does it actually mean?

Bump

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#7 Fri 22 Feb 13 9:10am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: "Gamy" - what does it actually mean?

(Just explained what bump is to a friend!) cool

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