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LAMB SWEETBREADS 4lb total Tunis or Katahdin
Tunis or Katahdin
Tunis or Katahdin
Lamb sweetbreads are a delicacy in the industry and we are excited to be able to offer these sweetbreads in a very limited supply!
The Tunis is smooth, minerally and herbaceous with notes of buttermilk and a bouncy texture.
It’s hard not to respect a breed that was referenced numerous times in the Bible (see fat-tailed sheep) and is reputed to be 3000 years old. It’s even harder to imagine the Tunis not being completely delicious since the first three U.S. Presidents raised and consumed them.
John Adams mentioned the breed in his diary in 1782 when the Tunis had an excellent reputation for delicious mutton — and tail (not sold today!). Thomas Jefferson ordered the importation of a second herd from Tunisia because he loved them so much he thought they should be more readily available. George Washington bred them —one of his early legacies was the proliferation of his particular Tunis crossbreed on farms and dinner tables along the East Coast.
The tail is now smaller and the color ranges from tan-to-red with the occasional white spot on the head and tail. Ewes usually birth twins although the Tunis still remains on the ALBC-USA.org Conservation Priority List. The Tunis is an excellent ambassador breed for the grass-fed movement – they don’t like to eat a lot of grain.
Our Tunis are raised by 3rd generation Vermont farmers Ben and Grace Machin. All lamb are raised on pasture and are never fed antibiotics.
The Katahdin is rotationally grazed in the Kansas Flint Hills. The Katahdin flavor is savory, mushroomy, with hints of honey, spicy and peppery, barky and woody with undertones of clover and creamy fat.
The Katahdin is inextricably linked to Michael Piel of Abbott, Maine who had the brilliant idea of separating out the wool producing side of the lamb business from the meat side. Wool production took time and energy from both the animals and the farmers while only providing about 10 percent of the farmer’s income. In addition wool creates a more pungent and muttony taste in the meat.
Piel imported three hair sheep from the Virgin Islands and bred them with various breeds like Tunis and Suffolk in an effort to produce a sheep that excels in taste. The result of the crossbreeding efforts finally produced a flock so perfect that it became the foundation for a herd and eventually the Katahdin breed that is raised around the country. Piel named it after a mountain in Maine even though the breed excels in hotter climates.
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