Reindeer Meat is Tasty and Healty

Reindeer meat is very tasty, but also healthy in nutrition: there are lot of health benefits in the ingredients. Reindeer meat has plenty of proteins (20-24 g / 100 g), minerals, A- and B-vitamins and unsaturated oleic acids, that diminish the harmful LDL cholesterol. There is very little fat (2-4 %) in reindeer meat. The fat composition of the reindeer meat reminds of a fish. From nutritional perspective, reindeer is the best of the meat products.

The most expensive parts of reindeer are the fillets and the roast. A fillet is an excellent choice for steak dish.  Round meat is the best part for cold smoked meat. Good choices for cooking sautéed reindeer are sirloin or rump meat, blade or short loin. Traditional dried reindeer meat can be prepared in all parts of reindeer. Then the reindeer meat has to be raw cooked for 2-7 days depending on the age or part of the meat used.

In addition to the meat, also heart, liver, kidneys, tongue, fat, blood and milk are valuable in nutrition. Reindeer fat (moon ie the surface fat) can be found mainly from the back, under the skin, in a separate layer. This has been traditionally used for cooking and it gives a nice flavour to the food.

A limited amount of reindeer meat is produced annually and the demand exceeds the supply. The best time for buying reindeer meat is October-November, when round up season is at its height. If you want to buy reindeer directly from the producer, it is good to make reservations early on, for example in August-September. It is possible to buy it later, but the supply varies annually.

Reindeer Meat Production in Finland 2000-2014

The changes in the consumer behaviours, such as growing importance of healthiness and taste, but also the growth in interest towards organic and gourmet food, have influenced positively to the demand of reindeer meat.

Consumers appreciate the taste and healthiness of the reindeer meat products. A lot of work has been done in product development over the past few years. Also, the meat that has been directly bought from the producer has been well produced and packed.

Reindeer meat from Lapland (Lapin Poron liha), dried reindeer meat from Lapland (Lapin Poron kuivaliha) and cold-smoked reindeer meat from Lapland (Lapin Poron kylmäsavuliha) have been given the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) –status (EU scheme). The aim of this EU scheme brings added value to traditional products and protects the names from misuse and imitation.