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I recently made a simple pasta dish with minced pork and I noticed that the taste was very "porky" or I think some people call it "gamey," and I found it quite unpleasant.

I rarely cook with pork mince, so this surprised me. I'm used to pork flavours from dishes with cuts like tenderloin, or the classic loin porkchops (cuts which don't tend to have a lot of thick fat, or are not super close to skin). These usually have that funky smell when cooking (frying in a pan) that I'm used to, but the minced meat retained a lot of that unpleasant flavour. It's a little difficult to find words to describe it.

I read up about lamb potentially tasting "gamey" from ChefSteps (due to oxidising), and they solved this by introducing a lot of antioxidants - mustard powder, black pepper, salt. Could this be related?

Is there a word for this? Is it porky, gamey, etc?

How would I go on about preventing this porky flavour? Is it possible with things like minced pork meat?

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As I am sure you know, different species have different flavors...beef tastes like beef...chicken tastes like chicken...and, well, pork tastes like pork. Further, when animals are butchered, we find that different parts of the same animal have different flavors. Further still, the animals diet before slaughter greatly impacts the flavor we perceive. Finally, after butchering and during storage and transportation decay begins, and meats can pick up flavors from storage settings. Then there is cooking, where method and seasoning impact flavor.

All of this is to say, that it would be fairly difficult to pinpoint your particular version of "porky", what that means, and what to do about it. I think the best advice I might come up with is to try a different producer of pork mince...or purchase a larger cut and mince your own. Maybe, it will turn out, that you just don't like pork...so move on and use something else.

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  • Thank you, I'll definitely experiment further. I understand that the flavour is kind of innate and maybe I should just accept it. Still, I'll be waiting for an answer that could maybe scientifically clarify what's happening, but you're right that it's difficult to pinpoint it and my question probably wasn't super informative. – Surobaki Dec 24 '19 at 19:25

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