Moufflon on the menu

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 24 January 2005

I achieved a culinary ambition this weekend, when I discovered that the Slovakian hotel I was staying at in Bratislava had moufflon on the lunch-time menu.

Moufflon are a small cross between a deer and a sheep that are indigenous to Cyprus. They were hunted to near extinction early last century, and so they are now protected by the Cypriot government in a reserve within the Troodos mountain range. I have always assumed that there must be a black market in supplying the meat, as they would previously have been eaten widely on the island. How the moufflon got onto my plate in Slovakia is something I don't understand - I'm sure Cyprus doesn't export, and I didn't believe that they lived anywhere other than the island - although there are apparently similar animals on Corsica and in Sardinia. It turned out to be a dark meat, similar to lamb, although I found it was served a little on the dry side.

A moufflon

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