Venison vs Meat

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SilTerSte

New Member
Italian
Hi everybody,
<< Irrelevant text removed by panjandrum (moderator) >>
I'm trying again: reading restaurants reviews I keep finding comments about "venison" talking about beef, veal or whatever meat: within this dictionary venison is defined as "deer meat" and elsewhere I found "game animals meat". Is it an old fashioned term (used by old people ;) ) to talk about meat or on the contrary a word recently become fashionable? I'm leaving for Scotland, may/shoud I use it abroad?
Thank you in advance for your help
 
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  • Kirill V.

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for a very interesting question:) My English-Russian dictionary also says that venison = deer meat or game animal meat...

    I guess this definition could marginally work for pork (meaning wild boar meat), but for beef...:confused: wild bulls' meat??
     
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    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I've only ever heard of venison used for deer meat. Historically it was wider, according to the OED, which unfortunately hasn't been updated at this point, so we only have century-old quotations. But searching for "kangaroo venison", for example, only shows it in lists of kangaroo, venison, ostrich, buffalo etc. Restaurants do use some weird terms sometimes, but calling other meats venison is going too far.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Venison refers only to deer-meat. It is current and not old-fashioned at all: everyone uses it. Venison is a type of game, in the same way that Barolo is a type of wine.

    "Game" is a mass-noun (uncountable.) Deer are in the category of creatures that are called "game," i.e. all animals and birds that are hunted for food.

    The meat of these animals is also called "game", especially as a title/heading on menus. On a restaurant menu, if you look for the section marked "Game" - you will see venison, hare, rabbit (although rabbit is not strictly 'game'), quail, partridge, pheasant, etc.

    PS Scottish venison is delicious and relatively cheap - do try some. :thumbsup:
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm intrigued, SilTerSte: "venison" means deer-meat to me, as it does to etb and Paul.

    Can you give us an example of a restaurant review where it was used to mean beef or veal?
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I suppose deer itself could mean 'beast', but this is now obsolete. The general meaning for venison is also included in the OED:
    The flesh of an animal killed in the chase or by hunting and used as food; formerly applied to the flesh of the deer, boar, hare, rabbit, or other game animal, now almost entirely restricted to the flesh of various species of deer.
    The key phrase is formerly applied. It is no longer the case today.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Hi everybody,
    << Irrelevant text removed by panjandrum (moderator) >>
    I'm trying again: reading restaurants reviews I keep finding comments about "venison" talking about beef, veal or whatever meat: within this dictionary venison is defined as "deer meat" and elsewhere I found "game animals meat". Is it an old fashioned term (used by old people ;) ) to talk about meat or on the contrary a word recently become fashionable? I'm leaving for Scotland, may/shoud I use it abroad?
    Thank you in advance for your help
    Could you maybe show us some examples of all these restaurant reviews that supposedly use "venison" to refer to things like beef? I am very skeptical.
     

    SilTerSte

    New Member
    Italian
    Thank you very much to everybody, I must search a little bit among the reviews and I'll be back asap to show examples: please be patient ;)
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Venison is used for all varieties of deer, with the exception of reindeer, which is generally referred to by name.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The world-famous deer Bambi (the eponymous character of the books Bambi, A Life in the Woods, and its sequel Bambi's Children, by Felix Salten) is originally a roe deer. When the story was adapted into the animated feature film Bambi, by the Walt Disney Studios, Bambi was changed to a white-tailed deer.
    Roe deer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    So if I ate some roe deer meat I wouldn't be eating Bambi. Whew! I'd call it venison. Chamois is some kind of goat, so I wouldn't call it "venison", especially if it tastes like goat; they are distinctly different flavours.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    So how what would you call "Roe deer" and "Chamois" meat?
    There are, of course, many breeds of sheep and cattle (Herdwick, Black-faced, etc., sheep, and Aberdeen Angus, Charolais, etc., cattle) but their meat remains mutton/lamb and beef/veal respectively. Mutton/lamb and beef/veal may be qualified Herdwick lamb / Aberdeen Angus beef, but this is not absolutely necessary.

    Most venison is Red Deer venison, and simply called venison. If you wish to distinguish, add the breed.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    So if I ate some roe deer meat I wouldn't be eating Bambi. Whew! I'd call it venison. Chamois is some kind of goat, so I wouldn't call it "venison", especially if it tastes like goat; they are distinctly different flavours.
    :thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Venison is used for all varieties of deer, with the exception of reindeer, which is generally referred to by name.
    In my experience moose (Alces, European elk) and elk (wapiti) are also referred to by name, rather than as "venison."
     

    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    The roe deer and the chamois are absent from the Americas (except as pets or zoo exhibits) so we can't hunt them, much less eat them. Thus, no name for their meat except possibly in highly specialized (and probably illegal) restaurants catering to those with exotic tastes and large bankrolls. "Venison" always referred to the meat of the white-tailed deer in my neck of the woods.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    So if I ate some roe deer meat I wouldn't be eating Bambi. Whew!
    Hmm. Given that, between the book and the film, Bambi can be one or the other, you'd be guilty no matter which variety you ate (or not guilty - you can always say you meant the book, not the film, or vice versa).
    You can buy venison minced (ground) and shaped into burgers (patties); I've always jocularly referred to these as Bambi-burgers. The repeated 'b's give it a certain ring.
    Mutton/lamb and beef/veal may be qualified Herdwick lamb / Aberdeen Angus beef, but this is not absolutely necessary.
    Indeed it is not necessary, except when you're being asked to pay more because of it.
    PS Scottish venison is delicious and relatively cheap
    It is indeed delicious and also claimed to be much better for you, health-wise, than other red meats, because it's very lean.
    I don't know about "relatively cheap", though. In my experience it's relatively expensive, when compared with what I would be most likely to eat instead (i.e. beef). But yes, perhaps relative to "exotic" meats like kangaroo or crocodile or ostrich, it would be relatively cheap, but venison isn't really exotic any longer these days. Most supermarkets carry it (but not goat, and only rarely rabbit).
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Thus, no name for their meat except possibly in highly specialized (and probably illegal) restaurants catering to those with exotic tastes and large bankrolls.
    Interesting. There's a company in California that offers all sorts of "exotic" meats - including caiman, lion, and yak - but they don't list either of those.
     
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