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Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Old Oct 27th 2011, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Originally Posted by Fred James
A leg of lamb in NZ is about €20/kg - more than either the UK or Spain.

http://www.woolworths.co.nz/#url=/Sh...amb%26page%3D1

Look at the size of those chops!!
so its like Spain....
send the rubbish to export and keep the good stuff for ourselves
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 8:05 pm
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Originally Posted by Domino
Dick, its never been "common", the uk has to accept anything from the eu and the commonwealth as well. France has a record of dumping (remember apples?), we buy wine in Spain at €1.50-2.00 a bottle that the likes of Tesco are selling at £6.99.

if it is possible to ship lamb (or anything else) from the other side of the world, with the rising cost of transport, and still undercut the uk price, either the uk is over charging or someone is dumping their over production.

wonder if there are any aussies or expats sitting on the outside who can tell us what the prices are out there?
I'm simply referring to lamb and there's no way the French or anyone else in the EU could compete on equal terms with British lamb producers.

Back in the early days of the Common market, New Zealand lamb was considered to be a totally different and inferior product on account of its tiny cuts,compared to that in the UK and also having been frozen and transported half way around the World, so although widely available in the UK did not present any serious threat to UK producers.

I have no idea what the current situation is regarding NZ lamb, but back when we joined the EU the other member states were all for putting a total block on it and it was only because of British representation that limited quantities were allowed in.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 12:34 am
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Originally Posted by The Oddities
They are around but mostly in stew packs at the moment. They do sell them loose but they definitely do not seem to be that popular here.

Rosemary
Parsnips are nowhere to be seen here in the Basque country; I ordered some last year from our fruitmonger, & they came from Segovia. Many Spanish do not know the word "chiribia", their word for parsnip.

I grow my own now in the allotment.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 5:14 am
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Originally Posted by retired in euzkadi
Parsnips are nowhere to be seen here in the Basque country; I ordered some last year from our fruitmonger, & they came from Segovia. Many Spanish do not know the word "chiribia", their word for parsnip.

I grow my own now in the allotment.
Swede I would like for my home made pasties.

Bit off topic but had 3 fabulous large pieces of steak fried with onions and mushrooms, chips and peas yesterday, at €3.50 the steak was an absolutely unbelievable buy, it was so very tasty too, half the price of minced beef.

I also bought some for mince too.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 5:25 am
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Well I live just outside the city of Valencia and we have a local butcher and his lamb chops are the best I have ever had from anywhere. When we have guests from the UK we always let them have at least one meal of chops and always we get compliments on how good the meat tastes. Of course cooking "al la plancha" has to take some of the credit but the quality is far superior to Mercadona or Carrefour or Consum but the cost is only slightly more. Nothing at all wrong with Spanish Lamb in my opinion
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 5:31 am
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Originally Posted by Joddle
Well I live just outside the city of Valencia and we have a local butcher and his lamb chops are the best I have ever had from anywhere. When we have guests from the UK we always let them have at least one meal of chops and always we get compliments on how good the meat tastes. Of course cooking "al la plancha" has to take some of the credit but the quality is far superior to Mercadona or Carrefour or Consum but the cost is only slightly more. Nothing at all wrong with Spanish Lamb in my opinion
shouldnt most of the credit go to the farmer who bred and fed the lamb in the first place.
Who cut it, who cooked it and how is surely a side issue.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 5:40 am
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Originally Posted by Joddle
Well I live just outside the city of Valencia and we have a local butcher and his lamb chops are the best I have ever had from anywhere. When we have guests from the UK we always let them have at least one meal of chops and always we get compliments on how good the meat tastes. Of course cooking "al la plancha" has to take some of the credit but the quality is far superior to Mercadona or Carrefour or Consum but the cost is only slightly more. Nothing at all wrong with Spanish Lamb in my opinion
Ask the butcher where he sources his lamb. I suspect they'll be from Teruel, I'll be amazed if they came from the Valencian community.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 5:54 am
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Originally Posted by Dick Dasterdly
I'm simply referring to lamb and there's no way the French or anyone else in the EU could compete on equal terms with British lamb producers.

Back in the early days of the Common market, New Zealand lamb was considered to be a totally different and inferior product on account of its tiny cuts,compared to that in the UK and also having been frozen and transported half way around the World, so although widely available in the UK did not present any serious threat to UK producers.

I have no idea what the current situation is regarding NZ lamb, but back when we joined the EU the other member states were all for putting a total block on it and it was only because of British representation that limited quantities were allowed in.
Traditionally, the UK has allowed into "Europe" New Zealand lamb because of the special relationship with NZ being a Commonwealth country.
Their lamb price is on a par with the UK price, but since subsidies were removed in NZ many years ago, their farmers had to become market orientated; hence their exports to places like the Middle East, & now increasingly the Far East, which is a lot nearer.
Their meat in the UK comes over either frozen or chilled, so they can pack a hell of a lot in a boat-load!
Moreover, NZ lamb is available in the UK when the fresh supply of UK lamb tails off, roughly between November & Easter.

I've seen comments above also referring to taste, breed, etc. The main influence of taste comes from hanging the carcass as long as possible (eg min 2 weeks) once slaughtered; breed & feeding have much less influence on the taste, tho' grass fed lamb is certainly better finished than say indoor concentrate-fed lambs, which are born in January, to hit the Easter market as "fresh, British lamb".
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 6:06 am
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Originally Posted by Fred James
I have never understood why Spanish lamb chops are so scrawny - you need about 10 for a decent meal!

The other odd thing is that all you ever see for sale seems to be legs, shoulders and little chops. What happens to the chump chops, Barnsley chops and the breast?

Perhaps Spanish lambs have been genetically modified to have just arms and legs held together with a few ribs!
"I have never understood why Spanish lamb chops are so scrawny - you need about 10 for a decent meal!
The other odd thing is that all you ever see for sale seems to be legs, shoulders and little chops. What happens to the chump chops, Barnsley chops and the breast?
Perhaps Spanish lambs have been genetically modified to have just arms and legs held together with a few ribs!"

Spanish chops are "scrawny" simply because their lambs are small when slaughtered.......... about 12kg liveweight maximum, & often much less. That means the whole carcass may weigh 6-8kg, the size of your average piglet when weaned at 4 weeks in UK. Or a rabbit!!
The UK tends to slaughter lambs at around 38-45kg liveweight, so around 18-22kg deadweight, so everything's bigger!!

They butcher meat differently here; very little market for roast joints. Many Spanish don't have/use an oven. Breast you should be able to buy. In our local Eroski here in Euzkadi they are easily available. Along with pigs trotters (brilliant to use for making cold meat pies), brains, etc.

I wonder how many down south know that Eroski is a Basque company, erosi being Basque for "to buy".
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 6:16 am
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Originally Posted by retired in euzkadi
I wonder how many down south know that Eroski is a Basque company, erosi being Basque for "to buy".
I must admit to knowing that but your comments on Spanish lamb are very significant. There is nothing wrong with the quality of Spanish lamb but as you point out it is effectively a different animal to UK/NZ lamb due to its age and hence its size.

Yes, hanging time is very relevant and that also applies to Spanish beef - it is sold far too fresh for English palates and again is usually a much younger animal.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 6:34 am
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Originally Posted by Fred James
I must admit to knowing that but your comments on Spanish lamb are very significant. There is nothing wrong with the quality of Spanish lamb but as you point out it is effectively a different animal to UK/NZ lamb due to its age and hence its size.

Yes, hanging time is very relevant and that also applies to Spanish beef - it is sold far too fresh for English palates and again is usually a much younger animal.
As I explained earlier, Spanish lamb is delicious and I have had English people say it is the best lamb they have ever tasted, as they did on the Asturian steak we got for them too

However on here, people seem to view anything that doesnt look like it would in the UK as foreign and rubbish, which tells you the mentality of a lot of people who come on here
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 7:03 am
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Originally Posted by Fred James
I must admit to knowing that but your comments on Spanish lamb are very significant. There is nothing wrong with the quality of Spanish lamb but as you point out it is effectively a different animal to UK/NZ lamb due to its age and hence its size.

Yes, hanging time is very relevant and that also applies to Spanish beef - it is sold far too fresh for English palates and again is usually a much younger animal.
I was doing a job in a butchers and got to talking about meat hanging, he said if it wobbles when you put your hand on it, then it is too fresh.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 7:12 am
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Spanish lamb, English lamb, NZ lamb etc is only as good as what it has eaten during its lifetime, so its all down to the farmer, you do need to hang the lamb for at least 36 hours before cutting it up, I usually do mine after about 48 hours in the cool store, if you really want good lamb, get to know your local farmer
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 7:13 am
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Originally Posted by cricketman

However on here, people seem to view anything that doesnt look like it would in the UK as foreign and rubbish, which tells you the mentality of a lot of people who come on here
No it's not rubbish - far from it - it's just different and I think we have now established the reasons for that.

It's no different from comparing a 500g farmed Sea Bass to a line caught 2kg Sea bass - there is a world of difference for similar reasons and neither are rubbish.

Last edited by Fred James; Nov 1st 2011 at 7:15 am.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 8:08 am
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Default Re: Why is Lamb so damn expensive and scarce in Spain?

Originally Posted by retired in euzkadi
"I have never understood why Spanish lamb chops are so scrawny - you need about 10 for a decent meal!
The other odd thing is that all you ever see for sale seems to be legs, shoulders and little chops. What happens to the chump chops, Barnsley chops and the breast?
Perhaps Spanish lambs have been genetically modified to have just arms and legs held together with a few ribs!"

Spanish chops are "scrawny" simply because their lambs are small when slaughtered.......... about 12kg liveweight maximum, & often much less. That means the whole carcass may weigh 6-8kg, the size of your average piglet when weaned at 4 weeks in UK. Or a rabbit!!
The UK tends to slaughter lambs at around 38-45kg liveweight, so around 18-22kg deadweight, so everything's bigger!!

They butcher meat differently here; very little market for roast joints. Many Spanish don't have/use an oven. Breast you should be able to buy. In our local Eroski here in Euzkadi they are easily available. Along with pigs trotters (brilliant to use for making cold meat pies), brains, etc.

I wonder how many down south know that Eroski is a Basque company, erosi being Basque for "to buy".
As I said before the main reason Spanish lambs are so skinny and scawny is because of the value of sheep cheese making it more cost effective to kill them early and cash in on the exhorbitant price of sheep cheese.

However another possible factor is the poor quality meagre grazing available in much of Spain,incl Teruel Steve, which by the time the lambs are killed is getting increasingly poor.
This does not apply of course to the North and especially N.W.where there is quite a lot of lush grazing on the lower land well into the Summer,though I do notice that the Farmers up that way seem much more cattle orientated both beef and dairy than elsewhere.
I would think that the breeding sheep on the poor grazing will get supplementary feed of a reasonable quality to assist milk production during the lactation period.
In my area they are fed huge quantities of surplus or second grade oranges to help them through this period.
I was quite surprised the first time I saw some sheep helping themselves directly off an orange tree beside my garden wall.They had a certain amount of difficulty firstly getting their mouths around them to pull them off and then trying to get their teeth around them to chew them as well. It was quite comical to watch, though the sheep which are fed oranges in bulk usually have the benefit of having had them crushed first.
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