That they do not give you a cow for an ox: how to distinguish the different types of beef?

Every year, the Spanish consume an average of 44.47 kg of meat per person, of which almost five kilos are beef, as indicated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Age, diet, color, sex and flavor are some of the main differences between the different types of beef, according to El Capricho de José Gordón.

The carne It is one of the main foods of the Mediterranean diet. In fact, in spainAre consumed 44.74 kg of meat per person per yearaccording to data from Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Among all types of meat, the beef one is the third most consumed in Spain with 4.75kg per personafter chicken (12.06 kg/person) and pork (9.64 kg/person), but do Spaniards know how to distinguish the differences between their main types?

“Dead ox, cow is” says the saying. But it’s not like that. An ox, a cow, a calf or a yearling are not the same. Knowing how to differentiate the types of beef is sometimes not an easy task. Age, diet, sex… All these factors determine what is going to taste once you start chewing. The Caprice of José Gordonrated as the best beef restaurant in the world for the magazine Timehas rescued some of them to be able to distinguish them without problems.

Characteristics to differentiate beef

  • Age: in the first 12 months of life is spoken of veal. From of the year and up to two, es yearling. Once they reach fourdepending on the sex, are cows, oxen or bulls.
  • Sex: the smaller they are, the less gender matters. However, when they reach a certain age it influences, since females tend to accumulate more fat than the males which falls directly on the flavor. Also, one must be clear about the difference between ox and bull. Los oxen don’t breedas they are neutered animalswhich directly changes the flavor and texture of your meat.
  • Feeding: the white calf (between four and eight months) differs by feeding only on breastmilkthe veal (from eight months to 12) eats milk and grass. He yearling follow this same process of feeding based on pastures or grasses. In the case of cows and oxen, they feed on foddera mixture of herbs, grasses and cereals.
  • Color: how much More smalls are, the color of the meat is usually of a pinkish white, since at first they only feed on mother’s milk. When comes to yearthey begin to drink milk and grass, so the meat color is redder. as they grow cows and oxen, their meat becomes redder and harder, although the tonality can change depending on age and sex. In general, the ox has a more intense tone than the cow.
  • Flavor: the veal usually have a Smooth flavor and be one much more tender meat. He yearling also has a Smooth flavoralthough, in general, it is usually tastier than that of the calf. Between the cows and oxenEl Capricho is clear about the difference: the beef has a much more intense flavor. Being neutered, has more fat which gives it a higher quality point than that of cow.
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Meat: a regional issue?

Meat consumption is widely distributed nationwide. Castile and Leon is the community that consumes the most with a 57.48kg per inhabitantfollowed by Navarra with 56.21kg and Aragon con 55,36kg.

However, if the data is focused on beef, the community with the highest consumption becomes the Basque Country with 7.9 kg per person, more than one kilo over the following: Castile and Leon (6.8 kg/person) and Cantabria (6.5 kg/person), as indicated in the food consumption report in spain made by him Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Jose GordonGrill Master of Caprice by Jose Gordon, ensures that “no animal is the same as another, each one is unique and must be valued properly. The care of the animal, the space in which they grow or the character they develop influence the quality of the meat. When we know what we eat, we savor it in a different way”.

José Gordón with one of his oxen

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