I dropped by Exotic Meat Market a few weeks ago to share my sous vide camel ribs with Anshu Pathak, the proprietor. He was not in, but one of his employees was, and we talked for a few minutes. He asked if I'd like to try some river otter salami and I indicated I would love to.
|River otter salami|
This was the first time I've tried any of Anshu's salami. I tried river otter stew meat about three years ago and it was not my favorite. It was quite strong and had a very interesting texture and taste, not bad, just very different. I could not imagine putting it into a salami. The salami was quite large, a purplish color, the color of the river otter meat. It was full of pepper, lots and lots of pepper, but I'm guessing the pepper was necessary to tone down the taste of the meat. It was surprisingly good and nice because it did not need to be cooked first. I emailed Anshu and asked what kind of fat was included in the salami, as otter is very lean, and he responded that it was camel fat.
A few thoughts. The salami is a great way to go for those who are trying unusual meats for the first time. It needs no cooking, it lasts quite awhile, and it can be handed out in small slices. I took it to work and shared it with co-workers and also shared it with guests at home. I got surprisingly positive reviews from those who tasted it. It is very inexpensive, comparatively. I've had the little jerky packages you can buy in gas stations with alligator, bison, elk, ostrich, kangaroo, etc. and if you look at the ingredient list, those exotic meats are mixed in with another filler such as beef or pork, you're not really tasting the meat you think you are - and they are very small. Here you are getting a lot of the indicated meat and the filler fat is camel, of all things, instead of beef or pork. I am going to have to try other varieties of Anshu's salami. He really runs an amazing operation.