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Vendor Profile: Twin County Dorper
Monday, April 02, 2012
With Easter coming up, this season brings back fond memories of traditional holiday celebrations. Easter egg painting and hunts, chocolate bunnies, wearing your best Easter dress to church, and beautiful spring weather and foliage are enough to bring back the Easter of anyone's childhood. Easter Dinner just wasn't the same without some sort of preparation of lamb-considered an acquired taste by many, the mint jelly was more my speed growing up. How apropos is it that we've recently started a great relationship with a local purveyor of that classic spring protein?
A couple of weeks ago, we debuted lamb chops in our mixed grill, which were sourced from Twin Country Dorper Sheep in Harper, Texas. We're proud to serve another local Hill Country product and a unique one at that. Twin County Dorpers has a great mission and story. The Dorper sheep is a relative newcomer to Texas agriculture. The breed was initially developed in South Africa between 1930 and 1940 by crossing the European Horned Dorset ram and the African Black-headed Persian ewe. This combination created a sheep with well-muscled body and lean tender meat and would be able to thrive in the hot arid conditions.
Fast forward to the 1990's and the first Dorper sheep were imported to North America. This breed continues to gain popularity to this day for their more delicate flavor. Traditionally, the lamb market in North America has only had for its consumers lamb derived from European wool producing breeds which were selected for the dual purpose of producing wool as well as meat. These traditional breeds have a "wooly" taste which is absent in Dorper meat.
Twin County Dorpers in Harper began raising Dorpers in 2004 when their first animals were acquired with a couple of founding tenets in mind: to embrace the potential the Dorper breed of sheep can provide in sustainable agriculture; to provide an outstanding choice of genetics for lamb producers; and to promote American lamb consumption in the American diet.
The sheep are grass-fed which leads to wonderful fat marbling in the tender meat. No mint jelly needed here! If you're looking for an inspiration to prepare lamb, their website offers a recipe resource for recipes across the globe where people traditionally raise sheep.
If you would like more information on Twin County Dorpers or to purchase lamb cuts, please visit www.twincountydorpers.com.
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