Prices of mutton and other sheep meat are hovering near record highs as more people around the world gain a taste for the strong-flavored red meat, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The growing popularity of ethnic cuisine in the U.S. has introduced a new generation to sheep meat through the likes of kebab platters and mutton biryani, an Indian rice dish with meat and spices. American and British TV chefs in recent years have showcased burger and stew recipes using mutton, which comes from sheep that are more than a year old.
The wholesale price of mutton from New Zealand, where a third of the world’s exports come from, averaged $2.85 a kilogram for the year through Sept. 30, up 45% from the previous year. Wholesale lamb prices were up 25%, according to industry association, Beef & Lamb New Zealand.
The higher wholesale prices have translated into higher prices in American stores. U.S. retail prices of ground lamb were around $7.67 a pound earlier this month, up by more than half from a year ago, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Lamb fetches a significant premium to ground beef, which sold at $4.98 a pound. (Source: The Wall Street Journal)
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