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All about “Sheep”

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Characteristics of the sheep:

  • Rich in iron and zinc;
  • Source of phosphorus;
  • Rich in vitamin B2 and B12;
  • Rich in protein;
  • High content of saturated fatty acids.

What is sheep?

Sheep identity card

  • Type: Meat;
  • Family: Goats;
  • Origin: From Europe to New Zealand;
  • Color: Red meat;
  • Flavor: Pronounced.

Differences with nearby foods

Sheep should not be confused with lamb. Sheep meat comes from an animal that is at least two years old, unlike lamb that is less than a year old. The mutton is fatty and my chewier than the lamb.

Word from the nutritionist

Rich in saturated fatty acids which can lead to risks of cardiovascular diseases, the frequency of consumption of mutton must be limited. Prefer the leanest pieces of mutton, such as leg and fat-free chops, liver or kidneys.

Nutritional values

Per 100g of raw sheep:

Nutrients                                                               Quantities                                                            
Protein 15g
Fat 16.5g
Carbohydrates 0 g
Water 67.5g
Fibers 0 g
Vitamin B2 0.18 mg
Vitamin B3 15 mg
Vitamin B12 1.5 µg
Phosphorus 170 mg
Iron 2 mg
Zinc 3.5 mg


Benefits of sheep: why eat them?

  1. The mutton is a meat rich in proteins which allow to maintain the muscular mass of the organism.
  2. Part of the lipids in mutton are in the form of monounsaturated fatty acids which help prevent certain pathologies.
  3. This meat is rich in iron which ensures good oxygenation of the organism, fights against fatigue and plays an important role in the development of the muscular and cognitive functions of the organism.
  4. Rich in vitamin B12, a vitamin brought only by food, sheep is good for the functioning of the brain and allows the formation of red blood cells.
  5. Lamb is a good source of zinc, which is important for a strong immune system, healing wounds, normal cell division, stabilizing blood sugar levels and metabolic rate in the body. .
  6. Mutton is an excellent source of phosphorus which plays an essential role in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
  7. Sheep is an excellent source of zinc which is involved in immune reactions, the production of genetic material, the perception of taste, wound healing and the development of the fetus.
  8. Sheep are excellent sources of vitamin B3, which participates in many metabolic reactions and contributes particularly to the production of energy from the carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and alcohol that we ingest. It also participates in the DNA formation process, allowing normal growth and development.
  9. Sheep is an excellent source of vitamin B2 which plays a role in the energy metabolism of all cells, contributes to the growth and repair of tissues, the production of hormones and the formation of red blood cells.

Choosing the right sheep

The different forms

Sheep meat is eaten in different forms. We find pieces like the shoulder, the fillet, the collar, the leg, the chest. Some pieces are more fatty than others, prefer less fatty pieces such as the leg and the ribs.

Keep well

Meat can be stored for up to three days in the refrigerator

Preparing the sheep

How to cook it? How to match it?

To take full advantage of the sheep’s health properties, it is important to cook them adequately in order to avoid the formation of potentially carcinogenic compounds. Avoid charring or overcooking the meat and use frying and cooking on the grill or barbecue less often.

The mutton will have more flavor if cooked with the bone.

To reduce the pronounced flavor of the mutton, you can marinate it for 24 hours in a spicy sauce before cooking it. Long slow cooking is particularly suitable for him.


Rich in saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, we must limit the consumption of mutton in people with cholesterol and risks of cardiovascular disease.

History of food

The term “sheep” appeared in the language around 1160. It comes from Gallic multo, Welsh mollt or Breton Maout. In popular language, it designates the male or the female without distinction, while in butchery, it is the castrated male.

In the Middle East, nomads traditionally raised a breed of sheep with an imposing tail which, like the bumps of the camel, acted as a reserve of fat for periods of scarcity and drought, both for the animal itself and for humans. Its weight could reach a sixth of that of the beast and, in some cases, constitute a serious handicap. To the point that breeders provided their animals with small wheeled carts intended to support it and prevent it from dragging on the ground.

Does the sheep come from the Near East, the Middle East, Central Asia, or even Europe? Was it domesticated 6,000 years ago, 8,000 years ago, or 10,000 years ago? Is it a descendant of the Asian bighorn sheep, the European bighorn sheep, the urial or the argali? Theories on these issues abound and diverge.

However, we agree that it has been domesticated for a very long time, probably after the dog and the goat, but before the cow and the horse. Its main ancestor is most likely the Asian bighorn sheep, with a possible contribution of other species to its genetic heritage.

As far back as it goes, it is the animal of choice for the pastoral populations of Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, to which it supplies wool, leather, milk and meat. Especially since it can survive with little and adapt to the harshest climates as well as the most difficult terrains. In the Middle Ages, it also held a large place in the daily life of Europeans, who raised huge herds. It will be introduced in Latin America by the Spanish during the conquest and will be quickly adopted by the local populations, while in the United States and Canada, it will remain marginal.

The successive selections made by humans according to their wool, meat or milk needs, coupled with the great variability within the species and its excellent adaptability, have made it possible to obtain breeds (we count today more than 200) with very different characteristics from each other. So much so that the animals in some of them are more like a goat or a gazelle, while others are more reminiscent of the llama or alpaca.

Sheep are now raised on all continents and in all latitudes. Its population is estimated at more than a billion heads.

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