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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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sheep animals of the genus Ovis. The meat of the domestic sheep, Ovis aries, is important in cookery as lamb (when young, up to 12 months, after which it may be termed yearling lamb or hogget) and mutton (normally, when over 2 years old, although, strictly, anything over 12 months is mutton). Sheep are widely farmed, not only as providers of meat, but also for their milk, which is made into yoghurt and various cheeses; their wool and hides are also important. Youatt (1877) declared: ‘Among the various animals given by the benevolent hand of Providence for the benefit of mankind, there is none of greater utility than the sheep.’