Would you eat goat sausage or cook a Sunday goat-roast?
Journalists will eat anything but even my colleagues paused slightly before trying my goat sausages. But after a slightly suspicious start they disappeared rapidly and were declared a deliciously meaty hit.
The sausages were provided by one of just sixteen commercial goat-meat farms in the UK. Ruth and Anthony Key farm goats in Stone in Staffordshire and they are in the middle of their first major kidding.
It appears just as sheep have lambs and lambing it seems goats have goats and kidding.Circular shed
It's all taking place in a modern circular shed which looks more like a spaceship than a farm building and which attracts lots of attention from drivers on the Uttoxeter road. But its round design and open sides provide a well-ventilated environment for the goats where they can easily see each other. Something that's important for these herding animals that often form strong bonds between female pairs.
With just 77 pregnant goats this year things are a lot more relaxed than on a sheep farm during lambing. Interestingly goats tend to kid either at dawn or at dusk rather than throughout the day and night like sheep. Very roughly lambs tend to go for slaughter between 4-6 months and goat kids a bit older around 8-10 months. The carcass that results is actually fairly similar in size to a lamb although there's noticeably less fat.Curry
For most of us if we've eaten goat it has likely been in an Asian or Afro-Caribbean curry. These animals may well have had several years for milking before going to slaughter. The meat being produced by the Keys is very different. To stay with the sheep analogy it's more like lamb than mutton.
I was expecting my goat sausages to have a strong taste and even a strong smell. But there was no smell, just a very meaty and delicious sausage and they certainly passed the office taste test.
There's not a lot of commercial goat meat in the UK, enough to supply a supermarket for just one week. But the Keys hope they can convince us that goats grown for meat will be something that will appeal to those outside the traditional Asian and Afro-Caribbean markets. Already they've supplied some to a local Michelin starred restaurant.
I have to say the goat sausages were a rather tasty surprise for me. I'm rather glad I kept a few back from the office taste test for a proper fry up this weekend.