exactly makes light veal turn into dark beef?"
Reading about the different flavors of different types
of meat brings up an old question of mine about the
different colors you find in meat: What exactly makes
light veal turn into dark beef? Is the change in color
also responsible for the change in flavor, or are these
two completely independent issues?
Thanks in advance and keep up your nice cooking site!
Submitted by Klaus Bendrat
Here we are with the second of your good questions.
beef is colored primarily by a pigment called myoglobin.
The function of myoglobin in meat is to hold oxygen
in the muscles to power muscle contractions. The muscles
that are used most are deeper in color as they require
more oxygen than muscles that are seldom used. This
is explained more thoroughly at "What
Gives Meat Its Color?"
Veal comes from animals that are too young to accumulate
much pigment. Milk-fed veal is prized by some for its
creamy color. Other cooks prefer the slightly older
grain-fed veal, which varies in color from light pink
to light red, because they feel it has more flavor.
The question you raise about flavor is an interesting
one. There's no doubt that along with the accumulation
of color comes the development of flavor. However, the
flavor doesn't come primarily from color. Rather, flavor
is created as muscles develop and fat accumulates. To
read more about the ways in which flavor develops, see
the October 7 Weekly Question, "How
does meat get its flavor?" for information about genetics,
aging, and, of course, the influence of the cook.
Thanks for your continued interest in the site.
Anne and Sue