LAFAYETTE, Colo. – While the thought of eating geese may seem strange or off-putting to some people, many Coloradans regularly consume the meat.
Arapahoe Meat Company has been slaughtering, butchering and processing meats in Lafayette for more than 40 years. The shop sells its own pork, but they specialize in processing “anything wild” a customer brings in.
“We do beef, pigs, sheep,” owner Dustin Goodew told FOX31. “They bring them in to me -- cleaned, preferably -- and then, I turn them into steaks, roasts, burger, jerky, sausages, something edible that your family is going to eat.”
One of their regular requests is geese.
“Constantly. We got some in yesterday. I got about…at least 100 geese,” Goodew said.
According to Goodew, one bird will yield between one and two pounds of edible meat. The most common ways to process the bird is by smoking the breast, making jerky or making goose sausage.
“Not a lot of people are keen on goose, so pepperoni sticks are probably one of the most sought-after right now,” he said.
The meat can be mixed with different spices to enhance the flavor. Right now, he says jalapeno, cheddar and green chili are the most popular blends.
When asked if he’s tried goose, Goodew responded, “Of course!”
“You know, waterfowl has its own taste. I think it’s a little irony, by nature. Think that a lot of the animals taste like their habitat, so they come out of lakes and ponds,” he said.
Not everyone is open to the idea of consuming geese. Some critics of Denver’s plan to control flock populations by donating their meat to homeless families say the meat is off-putting and the roundup is inhumane.
“I can understand their reaction. They’re cute. They make funny noises. But the reality is, the people that are in charge of making these decisions are scientists. They’re doctors. They’re not hillbillies,” Goodew said.
Denver has not announced which butchers will process the geese harvested from city parks.