An Introduction to Game Meat

Posted on 7th September 2016

Chakra will be launching our new menu soon. Expect innovative Pan Indian cuisine with a unique winter twist. But as you wait, we can give you a taster of what’s to come now. We’ll be introducing some exciting game dishes perfect for the changing season. Game has long been a British favourite, stretching back to ancient times. We take a closer look in our latest blog.

The History of Hunting in England

Hunting was historically a royal sport. In Medieval times, the reigning monarch owned all forests in England, and no-one could hunt there without a royal licence. Just down the street from Chakra, King Henry VIII created Hyde Park, now Kensington Gardens, as a hunting ground. Wild meat has always been bound by law to whoever owned the land, so hunting was reserved for the nobility – and hungry peasants who hunted any for themselves could be severely punished. A poacher could lose a limb or even be hanged for taking the Lord’s game.

Defining Game Meat

In the UK, the Game Act 1831 defines game and sets out the laws for hunting it. Although some changes have been made – for example, it is now illegal to hunt Black Grouse due to declining numbers in the UK – this centuries-old law still stands today. Game is defined in UK law as:

  • Hare
  • Pheasant
  • Partridge
  • Ptarmigan
  • Grouse

However, other animals are hunted in the UK, and strict rules apply to when and how they are hunted. These animals include:

  • Deer
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Woodpigeon
  • Rabbit
  • Woodcock

Game Meat Today

Game meat might not be as popular today as it was in Medieval times, but it is experiencing something of a revival. Served in many of the top Michelin star restaurants, game is becoming very fashionable. We’re becoming more aware of where our food comes from, and many of us now choose organic, local and free-range produce. As game meat comes from wild animals, it is completely free-range and organic, making it a great choice for those concerned with animal welfare and the environment. Eating game meat also comes with a variety of health benefits. Game is much leaner than most meat, and it is a great source of protein, iron and zinc.

The hunting season begins in October, and brand new game dishes will be coming to Chakra to make the most of it. In the meantime, you can still enjoy our outdoor dining terrace and summer menu. Call 020 7229 2115 to make a reservation, or book your table online.

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