Choosing and Buying Veal

There are two varieties of veal: the first comes from milk-fed calves (or vealers) killed between 8 and 12 weeks of age, and the second from grass-fed calves, which are slaughtered between 4 and 5 months old. Dutch veal tends to be of the first variety, whilst English veal is usually grass-fed.

Milk-fed veal should be pale pearly-pink, with bright, pinky-white, translucent bones. The meat should look firm and moist - but never wet. Grass-fed veal tends to be a little darker (and flavoursome), with a subtle reddish hue. However, never choose veal that looks really red, as this means that the animal was too old before slaughter. Veal with a grey or brown tinge is usually stale, and should be avoided.

Although it may be hard to spot, veal should have a small amount of marbling; however, too much marbling or too much covering fat means the calf has been overfed.

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