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I Wonder How Horsie Sauce Would Go with Turtle

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yd70pod

Arby’s, which is the worst fast food chain in the country if you except Sbarro’s for not actually being food, has decided to offer deer on its menu. Yep, deer.

Oh deer — Arby’s is making a venison sandwich.

The fast food chain known for hot roast beef and brisket is embracing its “We Have the Meats” slogan by adding wild game to the menu this hunting season.

Arby’s is rolling out a thick-cut venison steak starting Monday sourced from “free-range farmed deer that feed on fresh grass from New Zealand,” according to an Arby’s spokesperson. The steak is marinated in garlic, salt and pepper, and cooked for three hours. It will be topped with crispy onions and juniper berry sauce.

The $5 speciality sandwich will be available in 17 stores at select “heavy deer hunting areas” in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Georgia through Nov. 27, according to the press release.

I love the idea of offering New Zealand deer in a state like Pennsylvania, which is absolutely overwhelmed with deer. I don’t love the idea however of actually eating this. But hey, maybe McDonald’s can start offering bison burgers. And I’ll bet that Panera turtle soup is going to be tasty!

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  • cleek

    Long John Silver’s is worse.

    and i’d rather eat Arby’s than anything from Subway.

    i will not eat venison from Arby’s, however.

    • howard

      i wsa going to say i haven’t eaten at an arby’s in easily 30+ years, maybe more, but my recollection is favorable: was i wrong? did they go downhill?

      • NonyNony

        No – it’s about the same as it was 20 years ago anyway. Contra Erik it’s not objectively the worst fast food in the country by any metric. Though those are some low bars – most fast food restaurants are crap.

        Not sure of their labor practices. I seem to recall Burger King being up there for being the worst fast food restaurant as far as their labor practices were concerned, but all of them are pretty damn bad. And Subway in my mind always ranks highly because the independent franchise owners almost all seem to turn out to be cheap bastards who abuse their workers.

        • Musashi

          “Not sure of their labor practices.”

          I worked at Arby’s in high school for I think something like $7.25 an hour, so not great. Our GM was super lax on free food though, so there was copious amounts of that. Probably shortened the old life expectancy by a few years.

          • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

            I worked at a local fast-food chain in high school. Outside of a lunch crowd, they rarely had customers (went out of business shortly after I left). So the routine on the night shift was – one for me, one for the customers. We would easily eat our way to a respectable hourly wage.

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        No, they’ve kept the standbys and added some decent higher end stuff: pepper bacon, King’s Hawaiian rolls, that type of thing. I judge most fast food places on their chicken sandwiches – Arby’s is quite good.

      • As far as fast food goes, they’re fine. The curly fries are excellent. They’re closer to “real” food than a lot of alternatives in their market segment. They’re a popular culture punching bag, though. The Simpsons hit them a few times, and Jon Stewart made a recurring bit out of it.

        I think it’s probably a mixture of things. Their advertising has traditionally emphasized these big sandwiches containing nothing but a pile of lunch meat. Lunch meat is seen as a kind of questionably wholesome food in general. Probably doesn’t help that some of those sandwiches also have traffic cone colored cheddar sauce on them.

        When I was a kid the rumor was that all the meats there were sliced off a loaf of processed meat slurry that was shipped in drums and congealed in-house. But when I was a kid the rumor was that Taco Bell meat was mostly sawdust and bug meal, and so forth.

        Agreed with cleek: Arby’s is better than Subway. I’d rather have a wad of unapologetic saucy meat than one of Subway’s sad listeria torpedoes.

        • hickes01

          I worked at Arby’s in the early 90s. The meat did indeed arrive in a congealed brick that contained 8% chemical mumbo-jumbo. Don’t know if that is true today.

          • nas

            Ditto I worked there too… meat slurry all the way. It was fun to undercook it so the meat slime would ooze out of the outter shell. We used to bounce the meat loafs around in the back, surprisimgly.bouncy. I would not the beef product bur other menu items like chicken sanswixh and mozz sticks ans such were find and even good I’d see. And I would def try the venison… looks good… wirh a double.vodka rocks and some ketchup…

        • Richard Hershberger

          The claim that Arby’s is the worst is very weird. I would contend that McDonald’s is far worse. Even in high school, if I was on a school trip and the bus stopped at McDonald’s, I would skip lunch. The McMuffin is the only thing on the menu I find edible, and that didn’t exist yet when I was in high school.

          And yes, Arby’s curly fries are excellent. I rate them as easily the best among fast food fries. I also never got why McDonalds fries were so highly praised. My guess is that they were the first to achieve consistency, and people were willing to overlook that they are consistently mediocre.

        • lizzie

          “Sad listeria torpedoes ” made me laugh out loud.

          • Origami Isopod

            Same.

            I used to live by a Subway that reeked because of the bags of garbage regularly kept in its back hallway. It turned me off Subway for good (no great loss).

        • Nubby

          My first job was Taco Bell in the mid 80’s and back then the beef didn’t come from corporate, it came from a local supplier and didn’t seem any different than what you’d get in the grocery store. And the beans were made from scratch in a pressure cooker with 2 pounds of Snowcap lard.

          What I learned working there is that the majority of profit came from the soft drinks, the food was just the lure to get you to pay $1 for $0.10 worth of soda and cup.

    • ThrottleJockey

      I’ve always hated Arbys…until 2 weeks ago when I tasted their pork belly sandwich. Heaven on a bun.

      And Damn good with Horsey Sauce.

      • mikeSchilling

        I was in North Carolina on business early in the year, and got snowed in, so the only meals available were places within walking distance of my motel. Fortunately, one of them was a Cookout, which is the best fast food I’ve ever had.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          Cookout costs more. Cookout appears to be … actual food!

        • cleek

          Cookout is outstanding.

          they have like 50 kinds of milkshake – fresh watermelon shakes, in the summer!

    • Woodrowfan

      Long John Silver’s is AWFUL. Arby’s is better than LJS, Burger King, or Taco Bell. Hell, it’s better than McDonalds. Arby’s is not especially good, but there are worst places.

      Sbarro’s may be the single worst though.

      • Ahenobarbus

        I can’t recall the last time I had S’Barro’s, if ever. I’ve had crummy mall pizza slices before, but the thing is, bad pizza is still better than bad burgers, roast beef, tacos, etc. So I’d question whether S’Barro’s, is really the absolute worst.

        • Origami Isopod

          bad pizza is still better than bad burgers, roast beef, tacos

          To me the deciding factor is whether there’s any kind of meat in the meal, because meat gone bad is both nastier in taste and more pathogenic than other foodstuffs gone bad. Bad cheese pizza is better than bad burgers. Bad pepperoni pizza is only slightly better than bad burgers because there’s less meat.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      It’s really hard to get worse than Skyline Chili.

      • rea

        Not to mention the sheer blasphemy of noodles in chili.

        • Ahenobarbus

          Is that an argument to authenticity?

          • Warren Terra

            Wait, so the weirder the nonsequitur mixed into the chili, the more authentic? If they put Fruit Loops in the chili, would that be Authentic?

  • Snarki, child of Loki

    They don’t say the DEER are from New Zealand.

    They say the GRASS they feed the deer is from New Zealand.

    And yes, in a PA census a few years back, there are more deer now than in 1650. Thanks Obama!

    • hickes01

      That was might thought exactly. Why would they need to import GRASS from NZ?

    • Davis X. Machina

      Yeah, but in PA in 1650 the deer weren’t dead by the side of the road every 300 yards from Carlisle to Pittsburgh….

    • Yankee

      That’s because the early Libertarians shot all the wolves and drove off the natives, who ate a lot of venison year-round.

  • cpinva

    you’d think in those areas, where I gather deer hunting is a big thing (not a hunter, have no clue), they’d be eating deer they shot themselves, as opposed to some store bought deer.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      Roadkill. There’s lots of it.

      The ‘apex predator’ is now a large SUV.

      • smartalek

        Which should imply an SUV-steak should be the best-tasting!
        Watch out for those mercury pools, though…
        (toxins get more highly concentrated as you go up the predator chain)

        Mmmmm…
        SUV steak!

    • NonyNony

      Right. Shipping in deer from farms in New Zealand to a place where you have so many deer they’re considered pests on the order of locusts is really goddamn weird.

      (And I like venison myself when its properly prepared. I imagine that given what they describe above the Arby’s version will taste like their roast beef.)

      • Farmed deer is a hilarious concept.

        My understanding is that it’s difficult to impossible to legally sell wild game in the United States, depending on the precise type of game. Native deer species in particular are banned from commercial sale as an early victory of the American conservation movement. Other wild animals might not be explicitly prohibited but getting them inspected and approved for sale might not be feasible.

        • David Allan Poe

          It’s because you can’t sell meat (other than fish) that has not been slaughtered in a USDA inspected facility.

          I confess that I wouldn’t mind seeing some form of commercial hunting here. I know it happens to some degree in Europe, though I have no idea what the regulatory scheme is like, but I could envision an industry built somewhat like some of the commercial fisheries, with individual quotas and tight oversight, working well and being useful for some of the more abundant wildlife species.

          • Pat

            There are a lot of deer in the Northeast that have chronic wasting disease, which is related to bovine spongiform encephalitis in cows, scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in humans. People can contract CJD from their food.

            This is a good reason to support the ban on selling wild game.

        • CD

          Yeah. Does anyone know the biological/health ins and outs of this? I’d love to cook wild boar, but not enough to go to the trouble of killing one.

          • David Allan Poe

            You can buy wild boar in the States. I’m sure someone more knowledgeable than me can fill you in, but I’m fairly certain the “wild boar” in the Americas is feral domesticated hog, and the European/Asian wild boar is the species the modern hog descended from. But I don’t know whether the “wild boar” you can get through restaurant suppliers or high-end markets is the first animal or the second.

            • BiloSagdiyev

              I’m always confused on the subject. In the mountains near Asheville, NC, I believe they actually are European boar because that’s what the fancy lad Vanderbilts brought in to hunt.

              Across the nation, however, some hunters are just releasing hogs because they like to hunt them. Their numbers are climbing as is the damage they’re doing.

              Also, they’re a clever, self-liberating creature, too.

              • Pat

                In the South, small farmers have been known to release hogs into the wild when the price of pork drops below what they can afford to feed them for the season.

                In theory, they could hunt the feral pigs, but in reality, pigs are smart and avoid being hunted. For this reason, it is legal to kill feral pigs all year round in places like Arkansas.

    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      One of my med school classmates grew up in a rural part of S. Jersey and would routinely hunt a deer before getting ready for 9:00 AM classes. He brought in some deer jerky and sausage. It was pretty decent.

  • bassopotamus

    Venison is good stuff, but I wouldn’t want it from a fast food place. It has to be cooked just right or it dries out

    • The article says they are cooking it for three hours? Are they braising it? Is that how you do it? Because otherwise three hours seems long for something described as eing a kind of “steak.”

      • Dennis Orphen

        Orders from Mr. Trump, Ma’am.

      • David Allan Poe

        Probably a combi-oven. Essentially a steamer with very precise temperature control that can cook at low temperatures. If you’re familiar with sous vide, the concept and results are similar, with the advantage of being able to cook large roasts and not fool around with vacuum bags and water baths.

      • Pat

        I normally marinade venison for several days in wine and herbs before roasting it.

    • cpinva

      the only decent venison I’ve ever had was cooked by my wife’s grandmother. the meat came from deer hunted by her (recently deceased) husband. she’d been cooking wild game all her life (she grew up on a farm in MD), and knew the proper way to prepare it, so it didn’t come out able to be used as replacement leather for your shoes. still a bit gamey but, it is a wild animal and that’s what you’re going to get.

  • XTPD

    DERP THOUGHTS: How come dogs are the only carnivores humans consistently use as a food source? (accepts likelihood of answer being incredibly obvious)

    • kenjob

      .: proximity – few carnivores are endemic to human environments
      .: in general, there are always more prey by volume than predators. there is a shade of a statistical argument to be made.
      .: counterpoint – shark, most fish (for certain values of “carn-“)

      • XTPD

        Anyone know if they taste good? (Also, I imagine mustelids would be rather easy to breed for food).

        • kenjob

          mustelids farmed for fur do not produce edible by-catch.

          • XTPD

            Thx for the info on fur mustelids, but I actually found out that Russians (and sometimes Native American tribes) eat badger. Not sure about the other species (otter, wolverine, etc.).

            • kenjob

              fossorial, semi-aquatic, fucking wolverines… these are difficult environs to replicate industrially.

        • Origami Isopod

          The idea of eating mustelids makes me queasy. That meat can’t taste good.

    • cpinva

      bears were a food source on the frontiers, and still are hunted and eaten.

    • medrawt

      Well, let’s be a bit more precise: dogs are the only mammals who routinely eat the flesh of vertebrates that humans consistently use as a food source. Then:

      (1) Access – dogs are everywhere people are
      (2) Ease – if you’re hunting an unfamiliar dog, it’s less dangerous than a big cat or a bear, and less elusive than smaller carnivores and omnivores that people have also been known to eat. Plus it’s much more likely to foolishly trust you.
      (3) Economy – if you’re not hunting, but rather raising animals for food, it’s more efficient to raise herbivores than to raise carnivores, whom you’d need to feed with other animals you either had to raise or trap.
      (4) Taste? – word is that mammalian carnivores don’t taste good. I don’t know why – I’ve seen people claim it’s because predators have more active and less tasty muscles, and I’ve seen people claim that it’s due to diet. If it’s the latter, dogs (like bears) are a lot less purely carnivorous than, say, a cat, so may be easier to stomach. People did eat bear meat, I know, when bear hunting was common, but I don’t know how they felt about it.

      And it all sort of loops back to access, I imagine. People generally will prefer to not eat mammalian predators for the listed reasons, but if they’re in a situation where they have to, usually a dog will be easiest to deal with.

      • XTPD

        You can’t get rabies from eating animals, right?

        • kenjob

          rabies virus is in saliva and nerves.

          so, if you’re very very very good with a scalpel, yes. otherwise, no.

          • XTPD

            I assume the “no” means you can’t normally get rabies by ingesting a rabid animal?

            • kenjob

              if you ingest a rabid animal, you will get rabies.

            • I am given to understand that Lyssavirus viroids do not survive cooking.
              Little-known fact: Birds can contract rabies, not just mammals. But not having salivary glands, they can’t spread it.

      • rea

        I quite like eating bearclaws–who would have thought bear meat was so sugary?

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          I, too, love bearclaws, but I wonder how they manage to attack anything with them. They just don’t seem very dangerous to anything besides my blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

        • ResumeMan
        • SIWOTI

          It’s because of all the honey on their paws, some say it seeps into them.

    • Wapiti

      Perhaps because dogs are almost omnivorous, and so like pigs they can be fed scraps or left to forage until the meat is needed.

    • Bloix

      Dogs are not predators. Wolves are predators. Dogs are carnivores, yes, but they’re a domesticated species that relies on human beings for food. Feral dogs don’t do much hunting. Mostly, they scavenge.

    • Aren’t pigs omnivorous?

      If not, I’ve been lied to by Deadwood and numerous gangster movies.

      • Origami Isopod

        Yes, they are.

        The serial killer Robert Pickton used pigs to (try to) get rid of the evidence.

        • XTPD

          IIRC, the only part of the skeleton they can’t eat are the skulls. (One of the reasons why they’re tied with cats, rats & goats as [second?-]worst invasive mammal species. All of these animals are highly intelligent, eat pretty much anything, and go feral within at most two weeks).

          [Further nitpick: “Carnivores” in my initial comment meant “animals in the Carnivora order,” not just “any animal that ever eats meat”].

    • David Allan Poe

      They aren’t. Aside from the carnivorous fish we eat, which is virtually all of them, and the fact that chickens outside of factory situations happily consume all manner of invertebrate life, one of the most consumed animals is the pig, which is a dedicated omnivore. And there are plenty of delicious wild predatory mammals that you simply can’t domesticate.

      For the rest, it is usually sufficient to quote the entry on otter from the Larousse Gastronomique: “Its flesh, which is oily and leathery, has a horrible taste.”

      • XTPD

        I meant the order Carnivora –i.e., feliforms and caniforms – not just any animal that eats meat. (Also, what are these delicious wild predatory mammals, and where can I find them)?

        • David Allan Poe

          If house cat tastes anything like lynx, Fluffy should watch out if Trump wins and it all goes to shit.

          But cats neither grow quickly nor are well suited to raising in groups, so no human society that I am aware of ever developed them as livestock. I’d actually be interested in understanding the history of dogs as a food animal if anybody has any references. I know that in the Arctic they were eaten as a last resort, but that was more like a pioneer burning the furniture for heat.

          • Warren Terra

            Dogsleds were a famously efficient tool in polar exploration, because once you ran out of dog food you could start feeding the dogs to each other. That’s an extreme case, though.

            There is perhaps unsurprisingly a whole Wikipedia article on this; from the introduction:

            Dog meat is the flesh and other edible parts derived from dogs. Historically, human consumption of dog meat has been recorded in many parts of the world, including East and Southeast Asia, West Africa, Europe, Oceania and the Americas.[2]

            In the 21st century, dog meat is consumed in many parts of China,[3] Korea,[4] Vietnam,[5] and Switzerland,[6] as well as other parts of Europe, the Americas, and in the African continent, such as Cameroon, Ghana and Liberia.

            This matches my vague recollection of dogs being bred for human consumption in China, Korea, Oceania, and Central America.

            • David Allan Poe

              Interesting. I wonder if there is any literature on why certain cultures accept dogs as food under normal circumstances, some under times of stress, and in some it is almost totally taboo. As a wild guess, I’d figure that places where dogs weren’t useful as working animals would be more likely to accept the idea of them as a regular source of food. But I know nothing about the use of dogs as herding animals in Southeast Asia or Oceania, and the apparent acceptance of dog-butchery in some parts of Switzerland complicates that too.

              I don’t think she knows what I’m typing, but my dog just got out of her bed next to my chair and went across the room out of my sight.

              • Warren Terra

                One of my favorite stories about how animals are viewed differently in different cultures is from an old episode of BBC World Service Radio’s From Our Own Correspondent: the British reporter visiting some rural farmers in Korea shows them a picture he has of him with his wife hugging their dog. The Koreans ooh and ahh, as is polite, and say “you must love your pig very much”. Because in their culture pigs wander in and out of the house, while dogs are despised. This animal that’s being treated as part of the family therefore must be a funny-looking pig.

              • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

                I’d figure that places where dogs weren’t useful as working animals would be more likely to accept the idea of them as a regular source of food.

                I actually had a conversation with an older Korean once about eating dogmeat. Her response – “I feel more guilty about eating a cow, at least they are useful.” Traditionally, cows were used more as working animals, and pork was a more common source of protein. Dogs were rarely used for anything other than as guards. So that’s at least one anecdote in favor of your theory.

      • Warren Terra

        Yeah, I was going to say the same about chickens and our favorite fish being carnivores. Also seals, which were a major food source in the arctic.

    • cleek
      • Pat

        This is probably how chronic wasting disease is transmitted between deer.

  • LeeEsq

    I never ate at Arby’s in my life so I will assume that is terrible as people say. From personal knowledge I know that venison is delicious. A quick Google search reveals that there are farms in specialize in raising deer to sell for meat, so I have no reason why Arby’s is using New Zealand deer. If I’d have to hazard a guess is that they don’t want to repeat Chipotle’s mistake in using locally sourced food. It turned out that many local small farms aren’t that good with producing on a big scale and ensuring that health standards are met. Arby’s might have decided that New Zealand deer ranches could provide on the scale and quality they needed to avoid food poisoning and the accompanying law suits.

    There are probably health regulation reasons why they can’t buy and sell deer directly from hunters.

    • NonyNony

      Meh. Arby’s is far from the worst fast food restaurant. Their roast beef tastes only vaguely of beef (however they prepare it, it ends up being too sweet for one), but it’s no Subway. And it’s certainly not modern-day KFC – which is probably the worst fast food restaurant on the planet as far as I’m concerned. My friends from China tell me that KFC in China is pretty good and they don’t understand why KFC chicken in the US is so damn bad. And also why US KFCs don’t serve rice.

      • LeeEsq

        I’m just speculating on why Arby’s might use New Zealand deer.

        • cleek

          it’s probably because there aren’t enough farm-raised deer in the US to supply Arby’s.

          or else, Arby’s picked up a palette of venison that just “fell off a truck” somewhere in Aukland.

      • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

        My friends from China tell me that KFC in China is pretty good

        KFC is huge all over Asia. It’s probably what keeps the company afloat.

    • ASV

      I would assume scale as well, which makes me wonder if venison is a common grocery/restaurant meat in NZ. The only place I’ve ever seen it on a menu outside of seasonally in rural settings (where it would’ve been game-sourced) was in Singapore.

      • Simeon

        There will probably be some venison products at most large supermarkets in NZ (a search on the online store of one of the two major chains confirms they carry a single brand’s range), and there’s a whole venison section at more upscale places (one grocery store near my house, maybe equivalent to something like Whole Foods, has one).

        Venison wouldn’t be available at every restaurant, but I don’t think you’d have to search too far to find it.

        • By the early 2000s, grocery chain stores in Switzerland (Migros, etc.) were stocking NZ-raised farmed venison at reasonable prices (comparable to other mammal meat), as well as assorted exotic fowl, also farmed in the Antipodes somewhere or other.

        • Ahuitzotl

          I’m told by my relatives that venison in NZ is now harder to obtain in supermarkets than when I left, because the export market has exploded for it.

    • Venison I can take or leave.

      I will pay top dollar for Elk, when I can get it.

      • keta

        Elk calf is the best meat I’ve ever tasted.

      • liberalrob

        I had an Elkburger at Fuddrucker’s in Galveston, TX last week. It was tasty.

        Buffalo was also on the menu there.

        • Brett

          Buffalo’s not that remarkable, in my experience. It’s like leaner ground beef in hamburgers.

      • Brett

        I’ve heard it can be good, but someone I trust on meat flavor has said the Utah venison they tried was terrible – very “gamy”. On the other hand, I’ve had elk jerkey prepared by a cousin and it was good (albeit very, very salty).

      • I would very much like a clip of the Radiation-Free Reindeer Steak advertisement from “Hardware”, but the much-vaunted Youtuber is not doing its job.

      • cleek

        local supermarkets here in NC sell ground elk (and ground bison). i prefer the bison.

        (there’s a ranch somewhere in NC that does elk, bison and beef.)

      • Have eaten elk in Estonia. Would eat again.

      • Just_Dropping_By

        I had elk medallions once at the Buckhorn Exchange (which I would have to imagine knows how to pick good elk and cook it correctly) and was completely underwhelmed. Not worth the price for either the volume of meat (small), consistency (dry and chewy), or the taste (vaguely grassy), IMHO.

  • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

    I’ve never understood the concept of “mock turtle soup”.

    Are there many people who are clamoring for turtle soup, but are willing to settle for fake turtle soup?

    I am, however, strongly in favor of mocking our most famous elected turtle, who will hopefully have to go back into his shell in January. But since I’m opposed to violence, I am against his being made into actual soup.

    • XTPD

      Turtle soup was apparently a delicacy in 1700s Britain – why anyone nowadays would settle for an imitation that consist of brains & offal escapes me, however.

      • Honoré De Ballsack

        why anyone nowadays would settle for an imitation that consist of brains & offal escapes me, however.

        It’s that whole “endangered species” thing. I blame Obama.

        • XTPD

          Your joke is off-point: The brains and offal come from standard deer & livestock (which is why Tenniel’s illustration of the Mock Turtle has a calf’s head & cloven feet). Perhaps prion flavoring (with a hint of brucellosis) is coming back into vogue?

          • smartalek

            Mmmm, prions!
            Yargh…

            (Edit: how does one emulate the sound of a rapidly plummeting IQ?)

            • Honoré De Ballsack

              (Edit: how does one emulate the sound of a rapidly plummeting IQ?)

              Cutting and pasting any of the comments I’ve posted on LGM should do the trick. :P

            • Bill Murray

              give a Trump speech?

    • LeeEsq

      The answer is apparently yes.

    • Warren Terra

      See also Welsh Rarebit, and I think there’s Imitation Shark Fin.

    • Ahuitzotl

      heh, try some colonial goose from new zealand ..

  • Denverite

    I don’t know how things have changed in the past decade, but circa ten years ago, I wouldn’t eat North American deer (especially from the Great Lakes region) because Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease was endemic.

    • That’s what I thought–that there was a prion disease in our local deer stock.

      • Bloix

        But not in New Zealand!

      • That why the ads emphasize “heavy deer hunting areas”—the heaviness of the deer proves they’re free of Chronic Wasting Disease (the prion disease which, I think, is—rather than the CJD mentioned by Denverite—endemic in North American Cervidae).

        I bet Herr doctor bimler has something cheery to add to this discussion.

    • witlesschum

      Apparently, that’s an abundance of caution as there’s no evidence you can get Chronic Wasting Disease (probably what you’re thinking of) from eating venison under normal circumstances. They advise you not to eat it anyway if you think a deer has CDW and don’t eat any raw deer brains in general.

      • Pat

        Prions are proteins, and CJ disease arises from ingesting the proteins. You might think that cooking would denature the prion proteins and render them safe, but it turns out that it does not. This whole thing is not well understood. There are no treatments for CJD.

        It is known that activated disease prions have an autocatalytic capacity. They modify homologous (but non-diseased) proteins in your brain and convert them to a diseased state.

  • COnrad

    Looks like the NZ deer farmers have given up trying to market their product to the high end and are just shovelling it out as cheaply as possible.

  • junker

    Apparently Arby’s started advertising they they have “ocean meat.” from twitter:

    Marketing: we can call it a fish sandwich right?
    Legal: uhhhhhh…

    • LeeEsq

      Lawyers, serving a source of disappointment since Antiquity.

      I really want to know what this ocean meat is euphemism for.

      • It’s not a euphemism, it’s part of their current dumb “We have the meats” ad campaign. “Ocean meat” is pretty funny, though.

        • LeeEsq

          Damn it. I was hoping for a comedic raid by the FDA.

      • Ahuitzotl

        reclaimed fish & shellfish bits steamed off the bones/shells/etc at a guess.

    • NonyNony

      Yeah – when I was in High School my school cafeteria stopped serving “fish sticks” and started serving something called “sea nuggets”.

      I took a pass. I’m already wavering on whether or not I want to eat it when you’re willing to call it “fish” but not tell me what kind of fish it is, but I’m not going to get near it if you won’t even commit to it being some kind of fish.

    • Gareth

      Think smaller, more legs…

      • Warren Terra

        You hope. As I recall Soylent Green, the proles were told it was made from ocean-sourced plankton.

        • alex284

          I do love how in the movie soylent green was cheap food for the masses. If someone found a way to make energy-rich food out of plankton today, there probably wouldn’t be anyway I could afford it.

    • Brett

      Krusty the Clown: “Think smaller . . . think more legs”.

    • Origami Isopod

      Not to be confused with sea kittens.

  • Dennis Orphen

    What a coincidence (as if there really are any). I shot two deer first thing this morning, right outside my front door. With a camera.

    • Honoré De Ballsack

      Really? One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas, I’ll never know.

      • Dennis Orphen

        If I hum a few bars can you fake it?

    • smartalek

      Didn’t even have to go down the alimentary canal.

    • Brett

      When I was living at my alma mater, you could go out walking at night and usually see 1-2 deer out at a minimum, often more. It was kind of neat.

      • witlesschum

        Our neighborhood is about dense enough to keep them away, but there a few intrepid deer around who live in a wooded ravine that runs through part of the middle of the neighborhood or jog across a main road from the woodsy area around a flavorings plant. There’s a fox or two around, too, and so many skunks come out at night.

        • sparks

          No deer here yet, but we have a rather large flock of turkeys and the occasional raccoon or skunk along with the regular small vermin. A mile or so closer to the river, there’s pretty much everything you mention.

  • MD Rackham

    Just ate at an Arby’s last week for the first time in about 20 years. Just as I remembered—I won’t be back for at least another 20.

    Now here’s to hoping that McDonalds has the McRib this year. That’s some special “food.”

    • osceola

      God, Mickey D’s has been pushing that shit nearly 35 years. I think North Florida was one of their first test markets 30+ years ago. Every few years they drag it out again.

      Decades ago, a NYT article explained that BBQ is the hardest American food to market nationally because every region has their own version that is THE VERY BEST and nobody can tell Texas, KC, Memphis, ALL the Carolinas (East, West, North and South) that their recipe is not The One True Faith.

  • Matt

    A few years back I was on the South Island of NZ considering taking a job there, and saw several deer farms. I gather that the lamb market isn’t what it once was, so many people are switching, though lots of them to cows for the milk to sell to China (after drying.) So, it doesn’t surprise me that there’s a market there, just like for lamb. Actual hunting for sell to butchers (and restaurants) was a real thing for a long time, but isn’t now, so disappointed deer hunters can go to Arby’s, I guess.

    At least in Eastern PA, deer are plentiful, but, as has been noted above, people mostly hunt them with their cars. Even by Arby’s standards, that doesn’t leave very good quality meat, and the processing costs are probably high. Now, if venison nuggets became a thing…

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      the processing costs are probably high

      Especially if you factor in the vehicle repair costs, which can be pretty high.

      Slightly off-topic. My boss at a former job worked with poor folks on the side. One evening he struck a deer, badly damaging his car. When he got home (this was before cell phones were affordable) his answering machine was filled with messages.

      None of the messages were inquiring as to the health of him and his family following the accident. Instead, all wanted to know exactly where the deer hit was so they could harvest it.

      • ResumeMan

        Apparently my father-in-law used to be a short list in his rural NJ town for the sherriff to call when deer got run down and they needed someone to pick it up and have it butchered.

    • Venison farms have been a thing in NZ for decades. Selling ground-up antlers to the Chinese market as ‘deer velvet’ provides the farms with a second profit stream.
      There is also a trade in wild deer venison, nom nom.

  • Dennis Orphen

    Virginia appears to be missing from the list of states.

    • Bill Murray

      and it has the world’s largest Arby’s

  • smartalek

    I will be satisfied with nothing less than a dodo-burger and a komodo dragon appetizer.

    • XTPD

      Big fucking deal, peasant – I won’t revisit any establishment that doesn’t serve Haast Eagle wings, stewed in aurochs penis and topped off with rinderpest culture!

    • Bill Murray

      hey Komodo dragon went for $350K a plate back in the late 80s if you can trust a Matthew Broderick movie

      • Warren Terra

        And if you can trust even an early Matthew Broderick movie, it wasn’t even real Komodo Dragon.

  • Murc

    Here’s the thing with Arby’s. Their fries are excellent. And their various chicken sandwiches are also pretty damn tasty. So are their sandwiches. (I mean, their actual sandwiches, the cold ones.)

    Their roast beef, which they’re ostensibly known for, is dogshit. It’s weird, right? Their flagship product is crap, everything else is decent to good.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      I’m so old that I can remember back around 1970 that their beef was pretty good. Then one day they changed to some processed shit and ever since then it’s been disgusting.

    • witlesschum

      The fries and various sauces, horseradish or not, are why it’s above average. At least in the Hardeesless waste of west Michigan.

    • Halloween Jack

      Indeed. I used to think that they were the shit back in high school, until I realized that I could take my lunch money and go to a deli where they had roast beef that tasted like roast beef.

    • Nubby
  • NewishLawyer

    How has no one linked to this video yet?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vxQqdFOeoM

  • Cassiodorus

    I enjoy that Arby’s thinks Atlanta, were the company is based, is a heavy deer hunting area.

  • I worked at Arby’s many years ago when I was in college.

    The “roast beef” is, well, technically beef that’s been roasted.

    That’s about all it has in common to what we would consider roast beef.

    It’s actually a loaf of pressed meat shavings that is roasted and then sliced for sandwiches.

    Not sure what pieces and parts it’s from and I probably don’t want to know.

    It had be sliced extremely thin or it would be extremely tough.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      Hmm, if you’re a successful bullfighter you get awarded the ear(s) and tail of the bull.

      I’ve got to suspect that few matadors want to keep all of what they’ve been awarded during their career.

      • David Allan Poe

        An American vacationed one year in a small Spanish city. As it happened, he got along famously with the locals, who took him in as a long-lost son of the town. On his last night he attended the bullfights, and afterward attended the celebratory feast. During the meal, a covered platter was brought out and placed before him. With great ceremony, his host announced that they offered him, as their honored guest, the testicles of the bull that had given its life for their entertainment. They pulled the cover off to reveal two huge orbs, glistening with the fat they had been fried in. So as not to disappoint his hosts, he took a bite and was surprised to find them delicious. He pronounced them so, and the enthusiastic townspeople were thrilled.

        Each year for several years, the American returned to the small Spanish city, each year he went to the bullfights, and each year his host offered him a plate of two giant orbs, which he consumed with glee.

        One year, though, he skipped the bullfights in favor of a trip to a nearby vineyard, and rolled into the celebratory feast afterward with a head full of Garnacha. His host placed the customary plate in front of him with a crestfallen look on his face and uncovered it with less of a flourish than was usual. He looked at them, speared them with his fork, and ate them to less acclaim from the townspeople than he had seen before. For a moment he swallowed; for a moment he pondered; he finally said ,”They are delicious as always, perhaps even moreso than usual. But why, this year, are they so small?”

        His host looked him in the eye, then shook his head sadly and looked down at the floor.

        “Señor,” he said, “The bullfighter does not always win.”

        • Halloween Jack

          Hemingway would be proud!

  • I don’t understand why the meat is being shipped from N.Z. There are a few deer farms in the U.S. and I can’t image Arby’s will be selling THAT much.

    • CD

      Stealing the jobs of American deer-wranglers…

  • mikeSchilling

    James Joyce is on it:

    not yet, though venisoon after, had a Kidscad buttended a bland old isaac;

  • “free-range farmed deer that feed on fresh grass from New Zealand,”

    Wait, you import fresh NZ grass and then feed deer on it? The joys of globalisation.

  • Brett

    I’m fond of Arby’s, and don’t think it’s the worst fast food place by a long margin. Sure, the roast beef sandwiches only vaguely taste like roast beef, but they’re still tasty (especially when dipped in ketchup), and the fries are delicious.

    The worst fast food chain is Taco Bell. The worst fast food place I’ve ever been to was a drive-through fast food chinese place called “The Magic Wok”, which was absolutely vile.

    • witlesschum

      Taco Bell is in fact the worst. I haven’t eaten at one in the time I’ve paid for my own car insurance.

  • Halloween Jack

    Kind of insulted that they won’t offer this in Illinois. We have tons of deer, which thrive off the corn crops, and I’ve occasionally considered taking up hunting simply because I believe that I’ll eventually kill a deer with my car anyway.

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