Game, which includes the meat of deer, bear, rabbit, squirrel, wild duck, wild goose, partridge, pheasant, and some less common animals, such as possum, is not a particularly common food. However, it is sufficiently common to warrant a few directions concerning its use. Game can be purchased or caught only during certain seasons, designated by the laws of various states. Such laws are quite stringent and have been made for the protection of each particular species.
The meat of wild animals and birds is usually strong in flavor. Just why this is so, however, is not definitely known. Undoubtedly some of the strong flavor is due to the particular food on which the animal or the bird feeds, and much of this flavor is due to extractives contained in the flesh.
When game birds and animals have considerable fat surrounding the tissues, the greater part of it is often rejected because of its extremely high flavor. By proper cooking, however, much of this flavor, if it happens to be a disagreeable one, can be driven off.
The general composition of the flesh of various kinds of game does not differ greatly from that of similar domestic animals or birds. For instance, the flesh of bear is similar in its composition to that of fat beef, as bear is one of the wild animals that is very fat. Venison, or the meat obtained from deer, contains much less fat, and its composition resembles closely that of very lean beef. Rabbits and most of the wild birds are quite lean; in fact, they are so lean that it is necessary in the preparation of them to supply sufficient fat to make them more appetizing.