The Dish: Camel sausage
Where to Get It: Steel Plate, 3523 12th St. NE; (202) 290-2310
Price: $7 for camel sausage served with smoky goat cheese and saltines. When I first tried it, the camel was instead offered on a meat, seafood, and cheese board, which included cured catfish (for $21). Steel Plate’s menu is new and still evolving, but the plan is to keep the humpback creature as a permanent fixture, either as an appetizer or main dish. Just be sure to ask for it when you arrive, says chef Seth Brady.
What It Is: Brady gets his camel from a wholesaler, International Gourmet Foods, for $10 per pound. The reddish cured sausage is served thinly sliced.
What It Tastes Like: Cured camel tastes like bland salami. “There’s really not a strong flavor to it. Even without curing, it tastes like beef with a leaner quality,” Brady says. Black pepper is the most dominant flavor, but the sausage also has hints of saffron and mustard seed.
The Story: Brady was looking for a unique burger and debated a camel burger for a while, but he decided to cure the meat instead. He prepares it the same way that his grandpa used to make a summer beef sausage.
How to Eat It: Place a few slices of camel sausage on a saltine along with a slab of goat cheese, and go to town. If you order this for a friend and don’t clue them in on the animal, they’ll probably think it’s a run-of-the-mill pork sausage.