We love the thick grilled veal chop at Centro; the huge butterflied veal Milanese at Ciao; 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 For some, outdated and untrue images need to be debunked.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 long ago, and still is on a few U.S. farms (until 2017 when there can be no more individual stalls anywhere in North America), 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.
We left Delft Blue with a selection of “from gate to plate” meats. The pounded scaloppini was so quick and easy to cook. For the loin chops we just followed their own recipes; simply sprinkled on some herbs, olive oil, lemon and garlic, and sunk our teeth into the most juicy and succulent chops I have ever tasted!
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/