The Difference between Lamb, Hogget and Mutton?

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One day, I watched Jamie Oliver, Jamie at Home that was aired on Food TV Canada. It was talking about lamb. A Welsh sheep farmer visited Jamie and one of the conversation topics is the difference between lamb, hogget and mutton. This conversation suddenly stopped me from typing the assignment on my laptop. I know the difference between mutton and lamb, but what hogget is?

The strict definitions for lamb, hogget and mutton vary considerably between countries. Generally speaking,

  • Lamba young sheep under 12 months of age which does not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear. In many eastern countries there is a looser use of the term which may include hoggets. Also the meat of younger sheep.
  • Hogget or Hogga young sheep or maiden ewe having no more than two permanent incisors in wear
  • Muttona female (ewe) or castrated male (wether) sheep having more than two permanent incisors in wear or a sheep over two year old.

The younger the lamb is, the smaller the lamb will be, however, the meat will be more tender. Sheep mutton has a less tender flesh. In general, the darker the colour, the older the animal. Baby lamb meat will be pale pink, while regular lamb is pinkish-red.

However, according to wikipedia, in many eastern countries such as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Singapore the term of mutton refers to goat’s meat and usually not to sheep’s meat. In Indian cuisine, term of mutton curries is referred to goat curries when it is cooked at home while in Indian restaurants sheep meat is often used. I often read some food blogs in Indonesian, where some of them use a term lamb and goat interchangeably. In Indonesian, lambapplies to domba muda and goat refers to kambing.

There are other defintions such as baby lamb, spring lamb, yearling lamb, milk-fed lamb, sucker lamb, salt marsh lamb that you can read on wikipedia or glossary of sheep hudbandry. In addition, the British and Canadian cuts of lamb are the same, but they are different in the US.

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About the Author

An Indonesian-born who lived in Winnipeg Edmonton, Canada for more than a decade prior to move to Edmonton in 2017. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.