We love the thick grilled veal chop at Carisma; the huge butterflied veal Milanese at Cibo Wine Bar; and the oh-so tender veal Piccata with white wine and lemon at Kit Kat. For many of us, veal is a special treat, because it tastes so good. For some, outdated and untrue images need to be debunked. Recently we made a trip to a Cambridge, Ontario farm, Delft Blue, where veal is raised, so that we could see for ourselves.
Having been told for years that the animals are young and malnourished, we were only too happy to learn that, actually, veal comes from the oldest farmed animal next to the cow. If we’re eating chicken, pork, lamb, or duck…they’re all younger. Provimi (Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals) veal is the standard for which the calves here are monitored twice a day in an open concept, temperature and light controlled space, where we watch as they drink fresh milk, and feed on probiotics (no antibiotics), vitamins, and minerals throughout the day. Our biggest surprise is how big these animals are. Some of them grow to over 500 lbs!
The image of a lone animal in a small stall is false. While veal was raised in this manner on some U.S. farms, it has long been established that open concept group housing is healthier, cleaner and provides better quality meat. Standing in this warm, environmental space, I just have to ask, “why are they so quiet?” The farmers explain that the reason we don’t hear any mooing, is simply because the animals are content.
Veal is one of the leanest meats to eat and has the highest amount of protein of all meats, so it is an ideal protein compliment to us health conscious eaters who do not want to give up meat. Certified homegrown, dairy farm-sourced, Ontario milk and grain fed veal are low in saturated fat, high in dietary iron, calcium, zinc, and B12, which can calm our nerves and sharpen our wit–all the better to dine with.
For more information on veal, check out: www.delftblueveal.com
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Associate Publisher and Executive Editor of DINE and Destinations magazine.