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Hawaiian Red Veal: 100% Hawaii born and raised

Sustainably and humanely raised

By Joan Namkoong

The buzz is starting about Hawaiian Red Veal, a new product from Hawaii's cattle ranchers that's making its debut in Honolulu the week of April 20, 2009.

What is Hawaiian Red Veal? It's a pinkish-red tender meat produced from calves that are 5 to 6 months old. These calves have just been weaned off their mothers and have eaten some grass on pasture land they have been allowed to roam. They have not been given any hormones or antibiotics; they are as natural as can be.

Traditional veal is the meat from young male calves, originally a product of the dairy industry. The calves were fed skim milk and penned up to restrict their movement and reduce the development of tough muscle tissue, resulting in meat that is pinkish white and tender. But in recent years, veal has been criticized by animal rights' groups because of the way they are raised.Meatballs-1

Hawaiian Red Veal is a tasty and delicious alternative to beef, a natural product that's 100 percent Hawaii born and raised. No doubt Chef Alan Wong of Alan Wong's Restaurant and The Pineapple Room will add his signature style to this new product, as will Chef Ed Kenney at Town and Downtown. Tango Chef Goran Streng will probably do some Swedish meatballs, and Poke Stop's Elmer Guzman is going to be cooking up a mean veal burger.

If you're visiting the neighbor islands, check out the veal preparations at Merriman's on the Big Island and Maui. Mauna Kea Beach Resort and Kona Village on the Big Island and the Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui are also on tap for some great veal dishes.

Home cooks can find ground veal at R. Field at Foodland Beretania and Kailua on Oahu. No, you probably won't be able to find that veal chop or osso buco, but early taste tests of the ground veal indicate that this is probably the best part of Hawaiian Red Veal. Veal burgers and meatballs are outstanding; use it in place of ground beef in any preparation.

Hawaiian Red Veal is being offered by the Hawaii Cattle Producers Cooperative Association, a member coop of 44 ranches statewide that oversees transportation, marketing and other services of interest to the beef industry. The product will be available til the end of June, then again in the Fall of 2009. Get some while it's in season!

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Comments from Readers

  1. E94a8f268aa573db65db164163e3028c
    Alex Candelario on 9/16/2009 at 3:18pm

    Hawaiin Red Veal is truly the best choice for a consistent grass fed, organic, hormone free alternative to beef and we love how the burgers turn out.

  2. 67fae31e8a4507f618ff4e82f8faabde
    Leilehua Yuen on 1/3/2010 at 7:28am

    So good to read this. I have avoided veal for years because of the ethical issues. It's good to see Hawai`i taking a lead in quality meat production.



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