The qualities of Salers meat
Meat colour depends upon the content and oxidation state of the myoglobin molecule- the haemoglobin-like molecule- which gives the red colour.
The colour also depends upon the way light is absorbed and reflected.
Generally Salers meat is darker than other suckler breeds.
That is the ease with which the meat is chewed. It is assessed by how easily the meat is cut. Even though the tenderness can perhaps be measured objectively in the laboratory, professionals prefer consumer tests to evaluate.
The tenderness of muscle depends upon its fibre composition (mainly size of the muscles fibres). It is also related to pH : when the pH of the meat after slaughter is high the meat is tougher. The length of time the meat is “hung” in the cold rooms also has a major impact on meat tenderness.
Salers meat is sometimes slightly firmer than meat from other suckler breeds because the collagen content is higher and the muscle fibres are larger. Nevertheless where good practices of transport and slaughter are adhered to, the correct cooling of the carcass is respected, and the carcass is hung adequately, then the meat is tender and succulent.
Thus is the sensation as to whether the meat is dry or not on consumption. There are two contributory factors
- the sensation obtained by the liberation of water on masticating from the rapid expulsion of fluids from the meat
- the effects of lipids/fats on salivary secretion
The juiciness depends on the capacity of the meat to hold water. The bigger the loss in cooking the more the meat seems dry.
Salers meat has a high water retaining capacity and is therefore juicy.
This is an overall impression of taste and odour. The odour is produced by volatile components and the taste by water soluble substances. Flavour depends essentially upon the intramuscular content of fat.
Salers meat has a very fine flavour due to the intramuscular lipid content, hence the good marbling. It is in fact the fat which gives meat its flavour. The taste of Salers meat is its best asset.