It seems like a strange choice, but mountain lion has become a popular protein with many people who like to taste unique foods.
It’s a large cat native to the Americas.
Today, many states have made it legal to hunt the big cat, and hunters are also showing an interest in its meat.
You can cook the cat’s meat in many ways like you do other meats.
But what does mountain lion taste like? Is it fatty, salty, fibrous, or lean? Does it taste like any other meat out there? If you are intrigued, keep reading to know more about the big cat.
What is Mountain Lion?
It’s the second-largest cat after the jaguar in the Americas.
Also called cougar, panther, catamount, and puma, the mountain lion inhabits various areas from the Yukon in Canada to the Andes in South America.
In the United States and Canada, people use the name mountain lion more, but they are not related to lions.
Instead, they are of the Puma genus.
The cougar is a predator which hunts different types of prey, with deer being the primary one.
It’s mostly a nocturnal creature, but you can also get a glimpse of it during the daytime.
Native Americans have been hunting it for meat for centuries.
However, for others, the mountain lion has been a game for trophy hunting for a very long time.
But in recent times, attitudes have changed.
Several states have made it legal to hunt cougar, and many hunters prepare and cook the meat themselves.
So, you will find several recipes developed by the hunters.
If you are a food enthusiast who likes to taste exotic and unique items, you could visit one of the places where it’s legal to hunt, sell and eat mountain lions.
What Does Mountain Lion Taste Like?
We have learned that the mountain lion belongs to the cat family and that it’s edible.
It’s also apparent that you can cook its meat in several ways.
But regarding its taste, we still don’t know it.
You probably know how it tastes if you have tasted mountain lion meat.
But for those of you who haven’t, it’s a mystery.
You can get an idea once you know if cougar meat tastes similar to other meats.
Many individuals describe that mountain lion’s meat tastes like lean pork.
So, you can imagine the taste.
Lean pork is a delicious and healthy part, so fat and calorie-wise, you don’t have to worry much.
According to an interview/talk conducted by the Free Range American podcast with Donnie Vincent, a hunter, filmmaker, and biologist, he said that cougar meat is one of the finest wild game meats that he has ever eaten.
Mountain lion has a mild taste, and it’s meaty and dense, much like pork loin.
Because of its bland flavor, it can absorb any seasoning quite well.
You can use the same herbs and spices for chicken, pork, and beef.
You can also soak it in saltwater overnight to give the meat some taste and keep it moisturized.
However, don’t boil the meat in water.
Adding water to the flesh will damage both flavor and texture and ruin it completely.
It’s best to go with a low and slow cooking method or have the meat grilled to perfection.
Enthusiasts and experts compare mountain lion meat to lean pork which is a healthy portion.
Besides, studies also suggest that wild game meat has fewer calories and fats than domesticated animals.
So, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that mountain lion meat has a reasonable quantity of nutrients.
Can You Get Sick from Eating Mountain Lion?
Mountain lions are predatory animals, so they consume various types of meat.
They eat anything from deer to small creatures like rodents and even domestic animals and birds.
So, they are not entirely free from diseases and germs.
Though the native Americans have been hunting mountain lions for food for centuries, others have not because these animals are said to carry trichinosis, a parasitic disease caused by trichinella-type roundworms.
Many people also believed that mountain lion meat didn’t taste good.
So, hunting enthusiasts considered the big cat fit only for trophy hunting.
But people’s attitudes are different now, and many have started eating cougar meat.
It’s essential to cook the meat thoroughly and to at least 165 degrees in the middle.
If you don’t cook the meat as instructed, it’s possible to get sick because the germs will be active and enter your body.
You can get ill, and things can become more complicated.
However, by cooking it at least 165 degrees and beyond, your meat will be perfectly cooked and entirely safe.
So, mountain lion tastes good according to those who have tasted the meat.
You also know how to cook it the best way so that the meat doesn’t get ruined.
If you are keen to have a taste, check out the places where it’s legal to hunt, sell and eat cougar meat.
Also, always make sure to cook the meat as instructed so as not to get sick.
Make different items by using your favorite seasonings and enjoy a delicious and unique protein dish every time you cook mountain lion meat.