While lamb makes up only a fraction of the meat eaten in the United States, it is used in a countless of wonderful recipes throughout the world. When lamb is labeled as “spring lamb” it signifies that lamb that was brought to market during the spring and summer months which was formerly the season for fresh lamb. However, lamb is now available thought the year, and the label “spring lamb” does not necessarily mean additional quality.
Although high in saturated fat, lamb is a very good source of protein, providing 60.3% of the daily value for protein along with 21.1% of the DV for saturated fat in four ounces. The structure of the human body is built on protein. We use animal and plant sources of protein for our amino acids and rearrange the nitrogen to make the pattern of amino acids we require.
Americans eat a fraction of the amount of lamb consumed in many other countries in the world. And that’s too bad since this red meat is very healthful and extremely delicious, having a very tender and buttery quality. Lamb is the meat from young sheep that are less than one year old. It is usually available in five different cuts including the shoulder, rack, shank/breast, loin and leg. Additionally, many stores sell it already ground to be used to make burgers, meat loaf or sauces.
Currently the most abundant livestock in the world, sheep were originally domesticated in the Middle Eat and Asia more than 10,000 years ago. As a source of not only food, but also textiles (wool), sheep were introduced and became popular throughout many regions of the world. The Romans introduced sheep into Great Britain, where lamb is very popular, over 2,000 years ago. Lamb was not introduced into the Western Hemisphere until the early 16th century when the armies of the Spanish explorer Cortez brought sheep with them on their explorations.
Since ancient times, lamb has been regarded as a religious symbol. It was commonly used as a sacrifice, and a symbol of sacrifice, in many religions including Judaism. In many countries, lamb is a traditional dish at Easter in commemoration of the Last Supper at which lamb was likely served. Jesus is often referred to as the “Lamb of God”.
Lamb is a staple in cuisines throughout the world including Turkey, Greece, New Zealand, Australia and countries of the Middle East.