YOU never know where goat will take you. When I asked the smiley butcher at Jefferson Market, the grocery store near my apartment in the West Village, whether he had any goat meat, he told me: “No. I got a leg of lamb, though — I could trim it nice and thin to make it look like goat.” I politely declined. We fell into conversation.
I found myself telling him: “Koreans think eating goat soup increases virility. It can lead to better sexytime.” My new friend responded: “My lamb does that a little. You won’t want to every night, but maybe every other night.” Reaching toward his counter to pick up a mound of hamburger, he paused to ask, “It’s for you, the goat?”
Mine is the tale of the recent convert. Admittedly, I’m late to the party: goat is the most widely consumed meat in the world, a staple of, among others, Mexican, Indian, Greek and southern Italian cuisines. Moreover, it’s been edging its way into yuppier climes for a year or so now, click-clacking its cloven hooves up and down the coasts and to places like Houston and Des Moines. (When New York magazine proclaimed eating goat a “trendlet” last summer, one reader wrote on the magazine’s Web site, “Here are white people again!!!! Acting like they invented goat meat.”) A famed beef and pork rancher, Bill Niman, returned from retirement to raise goats in Bolinas, Calif.; New York City has a chef (Scott Conant) who’s made kid his signature dish.