You already know that many kinds of meat have special names, distinct from the name of the animals that it comes from. For instance, beef comes from cows; their meat is not referred to as cow meat.
Likewise, from pigs we get pork; you never hear it called pig meat. But then again, we get chicken from chickens and lamb from lamb, so you can never be too sure with some animals.
How about rabbits? What is rabbit meat called?
Rabbit meat is just referred to as rabbit meat, or on menus you will see it simply called “rabbit.”
And that’s really all there is to it. Rabbit meat doesn’t get a special designation like pork, beef, veal, or mutton.
There is a lot more you should know about rabbit meat, so keep reading and I’ll tell you everything you ever wanted to know…
Rabbit Meat Has Been Enjoyed Around the World
You might blanch at the idea of eating the meat of a cute, cuddly bunny rabbit, but you really shouldn’t.
Yes, rabbits are pretty popular pets, but more importantly, they’ve been a vital source of meat for ages, consumed around the world.
Not all countries eat the same amount of rabbit, and in many places it is downright unpopular (including America) but this does not change the history of rabbit meat when it comes to human consumption.
Rabbit is immensely popular in China, and they are also the world’s leading producer of this type of meat by weight, exporting quite a bit of it.
Surprisingly, rabbit is also pretty much a staple meat of North Korea, second only to China in terms of consumption and production.
Rabbit is also highly popular throughout parts of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and even Europe, with Egypt, France and Russia being significant consumers.
And of course there is the importance of rabbit as wild game, eaten so as to not waste the kill of an animal taken in sport, and also as a primary or emergency source of protein for people traveling far afield or over long journeys.
Rabbit Dishes May Have Special Names, but the Meat Doesn’t
But back to the taxonomy of rabbit meat in regards to language, even though the meat does not have a special name of its own there are some special dishes out there that are explicitly made with rabbit, and these might have a unique name.
If you order them, expect them to be made with rabbit!
One of the most well-known rabbit meat specialty dishes out there also happens to be the national dish of Malta: Fenkata.
A delicious feast of rabbit that has been marinated in wine and then prepared with a variety of vegetables like carrots, tomatoes and onions along with plenty of aromatic herbs and garlic and then stewed until tender, this dish is often served alongside potatoes or pasta and is always covered in a thick, robust and flavorful sauce.
Then there is kouneli stifado, a Greek stew of caramelized, brown rabbit meat cooked with tomato paste, red wine, tomatoes, onions, stock, and olive oil along with tons of spices and seasonings.
Typically served alongside bread, it is a hearty and fulfilling meal that will make a rabbit fan out of anyone.
These are just a few dishes in a huge and diverse variety of cuisines from around the world, and even if it isn’t particularly popular, you’re bound to find at least one or two rabbit specialty dishes in any culture.
Rabbits are a Great Protein Source Since they Multiply So Quickly
Rabbit meat, even though it doesn’t have a special name, is still a tremendous source of protein and various vitamins and minerals.
This is made all the more attractive because of the explosive birth rates of these animals.
Pretty much every single breed of rabbit out there, wild or domestic, can be expected to have at least between 3 and 4 litters of baby rabbits, called kittens (not bunnies) per year, with each litter containing seven or more of them.
It doesn’t take a math genius to see how you can soon be literally swimming in rabbits if you set up a good breeding operation.
Also consider that rabbits mature very quickly, and it’s possible to keep several families in rabbit meat with comparatively very little effort compared to other livestock.
Rabbit meat does have some noted disadvantages compared to other meats, which we will address soon, but this is no reason to overlook it especially if you’re trying to be more self-sufficient on a homestead.
Rabbit Meat is Highly Nutritious
Rabbit meat is highly nutritious, no two ways about it. Looking at domesticated rabbits, the most commonly eaten type, we see that rabbit meat compares very favorably to chicken in terms of flavor and in terms of nutrition.
A 3.5 ounce portion of domesticated rabbit meat contains 40% of an adult’s daily value of protein, 45% of the daily value of vitamin B3 and 29% of the daily value of vitamin B6, with all of the other B vitamins (except B4) being well represented also.
Notably, this small portion of rabbit contains almost 300% of an adult’s daily allotment of vitamin B12!
The mineral content of rabbit is also pretty impressive, and it has roughly 10% of the daily allotment of needed iron, 17.5% of the daily allotment of phosphorus, 43% of the daily allotment of selenium, and a good shot of zinc with 14%.
It also contains a little bit of potassium and magnesium.
All in all, rabbit meat is delicious, nutritious, widely available and cheap and easy to procure if you want to raise it yourself. That is a winning combination in my book!
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.