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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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goat meat is taken from the adults of the species Capra hircus, closely related to sheep. Adapted to mountain habitats, goats are sure-footed and able to climb steep cliffs to find food, their browsing habits often destroying shrubs and trees. They complement sheep, which prefer grass, and the two animals are often herded together in lands around the Mediterranean and throughout the Middle East and C. Asia.

The term ‘wild goat’ may refer either to a feral specimen of C. hircus (protected in many places) or to related species such as the ibex (C. ibex), ranging from the Iberian peninsula to N. Africa, the Caucasus and C. Asia; the chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), ranging from the Pyrenees through the Alps and Apennines to Asia Minor; and the mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) of W. Canada and the western USA. All these have been hunted for food, but have a strong gamy taste.