In culinary terminology, squab refers to the meat of young pigeons. Perhaps surprisingly to some, squab is considered to be a prized delicacy in many parts of the world. As such, it is growing in popularity internationally, with many diners having their curiosity and interest piqued by the appeal of this rare and elusive meat. 

But what does squab even taste like? And perhaps more importantly, how do you cook it? And while we’re at it, where can you acquire squab meat from? Well, for our ultimate guide on how to eat, prepare, and source quality squab, just keep reading!

Squab: How to Eat It 

When it comes to dining on squab, the question on every poultry lover’s lips is, undoubtedly: What does it taste like? Certainly, for many of us, consuming the meat of young pigeons is a controversial choice! However, for many other diners, the taste, texture and experience of eating squab is simply unparalleled. Known for its tender, moist and juicy quality, squab meat has become exceedingly popular in many high-quality dining destinations. It follows then that the eating of squab has in many countries become associated with wealth, as it is often a dish that is reserved for the elite. The richness of squab meat goes hand in hand with this notion of indulgence, as the fatty foul is decidedly potent in both flavour and density. Admittedly on the fattier side of poultry options, squab should however be eaten in moderation, as excess consumption can lead to spikes in cholesterol and other weight-induced illnesses. 

Where Can I Get Squab?

Photo by ArtHouse Studio 

If you’re intent on cooking up some squab, the young pigeon meat can be procured from various sources. Most commonly stocked at speciality poultry stores or butchers, squab can also sometimes be found at locally-based farmers markets. Usually sold by the kilo, squab can – admittedly – be quite expensive, especially when compared with more commonplace or mainstream poultry meats such as chicken, turkey and duck. Nevertheless, many avid fans of this unusual protein source will argue that it is worth the hefty price tag! Also, if you choose to go straight to the source – that is to say, by visiting a squab breeding farm where young pigeons are raised purely for consumption – you can expect to be able to purchase squab meat at a slightly reduced tariff. Squab can also be purchased online, at a wholesale rate. This is arguably the best and most cost-effective option for restaurant owners and poultry purchasers requiring squab in larger quantities.

Cooking, Preparing and Serving Squab Dishes

Photo by Chan Walrus

There are many different ways to prepare the delicacy that is squab meat. For professional poultry chefs, the best way to cook squab is often to roast it. Usually marinated and seasoned in a variety of herbs, spices and fragrant sauces, the squab is then left in the oven until it turns a mouth-watering golden brown. Alternatively, squab can be poached, grilled or fried – much like other poultry meats. Contrary to other more common poultry options, however, squab meat requires a reduced cooking time. This is because young pigeons are – in general – much smaller in size than their larger poultry counterparts. Indeed, squab portions can often be half the size of whole chickens, and even smaller when compared with ducks, geese, and turkeys.

How to Store Squab Meat

Like most poultry, squab meat is best stored in frozen form. This will allow you to keep the meat fresh for longer and extend the life of your squab. If you have already cooked the squab meat, you can also store it in the refrigerator. Admittedly, this will only be possible for a much shorter time, as refrigerated meat has a much shorter shelf life than meat that has been frozen. Nonetheless, storing squab in the fridge will allow for quicker preparation than storing it in the freezer, as you will not need to thaw the meat before cooking it.

It goes without saying – choosing to consume young pigeon meat is considered quite an unusual choice for many people! Despite this, if you are curious about trying some squab, you’ll need to join the queue. A poultry sensation that is growing in popularity, squab can be found in many fine dining restaurants internationally, and is only set to increase in global reach as more and more diners discover the tasty delicacy. Known for its plump, juicy texture and distinctive flavour, the fatty meat is set to take the world by storm. So, if you want to stay ahead of the crowd, and savour a taste of elusive squab before others do – you simply mustn’t delay! 

Main image by Ampong Quilario

This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Web Oracle.  

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