The last few years have seen increase in camel meat eating and drinking products, particularly in the UAE. The media has noted that the “Camelicious’ product line” has exploded thanks to a growing market for camel chocolate and cheese as well as meat products.
With less than half the fat of beef, and being very high in iron, camel meat is often held up as a healthy alternative. Nowadays, it is to come across camel burgers not only at Dubai restaurants, but also in Australia and Europe. Camel meat is, obviously, in stock in Dubai’s supermarkets. However, camel meat still has a lack of prominence on the nation’s dinner tables; this may be low due to the marginal camel population in the world.
Camel meat also does cost more than other meats, but it is a nutritious alternative thanks to its being leaner than red meat and rich in protein and vitamin E. According to Dr. Syd Angel Ellica, M.D., General Practitioner of KIMS Medical Center, Dubai, for example, camel meat is a great part of the diet for patients who have protein deficiency, muscle wasting or any form of protein malnutrition. He also believes camel meat can have a role in preventing iron-deficiency anemia.
As gruesome as it may sound, one of the camel parts that is often served, especially at parties and wedding receptions, is the hump, which is tender and fattier than the rest of the body. Other cuts include steaks from the rump area. Taste is often described as a cross between beef and lamb or veal; it might be a bit dry sometimes, but the meat is very tasty.
As for dairy, camel milk is believed to have many health properties. It has 10 times more iron and three times more vitamin C than cow’s milk; it also possesses strong immune system benefits, according to medical studies. Other researches suggest camel milk could potentially benefit disorders including diabetes and autism as it is a rich source of insulin.
The overall health benefits are paving the way for a wider consumption of camel-based products. The European Union has already agreed to accept camel milk imports from the UAE (meat is still pending). As for the potential value of a commercial camel milk industry, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization says that could be $10bn.