America has never embraced the sheep the way it has the cow, the pig, and the chicken, and many still avoid it. Indeed, much lamb consumed in the U.S. comes from Australia or New Zealand, where it has been bred to be milder, with a texture like well-marbled steak.
But luckily, we have lots of immigrants and descendants of immigrants who consider lamb, which is the meat of sheep that are one year or younger, the tastiest of meats, preferring more flavor to less. Mutton, which comes from an older sheep, is a harder sell, with a more assertive nature that goes well with stronger stews and curries. Lacking tenderness, mutton demands extensive cooking, and is rarely allowed to stand on its own. What about Keens’s famous mutton chop, you ask? It’s really lamb.
Here now, in answer to William Blake’s poetic question “Little Lamb who made thee,” we offer a map of where to find the best sheepish dishes in NYC and its vicinity. You’ll notice that certain parts of the world, including the Middle East, northern China, Africa, and South and Central Asia, really love lamb, and grab a disproportionate number of points on the map.Read More