Lamb

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  May 28, 2022

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Lamb, hogget, and mutton (UK, India, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and Australia) are terms for the meat of domestic sheep (species Ovis aries) at different ages. A sheep in its first year is called a lamb; and its meat is also called lamb. The meat of a juvenile sheep older than one year is hogget; outside North America this is also a term for the living animal. The meat of an adult sheep is mutton, a term only used for the meat, not the living animals. Lamb is the most expensive of the three types, and in recent decades sheep-meat is increasingly only retailed as “lamb”, sometimes stretching the accepted distinctions given above. The stronger tasting mutton is now hard to find in many areas, despite the efforts of the Mutton Renaissance Campaign in the UK. In Australia, the term prime lamb is often used to refer to lambs raised for meat. Other languages, for example French and Italian, make similar, or even more detailed, distinctions between sheep meat by age and sometimes by gender, though they generally lack the particular habit of English in having different terms for the living animal and its meat.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.