Why are pigeons not eaten?

Pigeon meat | Can you eat pigeons?

Of course you can eat pigeons (Columbidae). Pigeon meat is even considered a delicacy by some and has a permanent place in star gastronomy. Pigeons belong to the so-called wild fowl such as pheasants, partridges or quail. However, there are hardly any wild pigeons in this country, but almost exclusively breeding pigeons.

Healthy meat

Pigeon meat is not only delicious, it is also very healthy. In any case, it is easy to digest. That may be the reason why it was mainly served to sick people in earlier times. In principle, a pigeon can be cooked like any other poultry. However, the problem often arises that there is not much to do with such a pigeon. The amount of meat per animal is naturally very limited.

In gastronomy, therefore, traditionally two animals per person are counted for a main course. Most of the time, only the fried or grilled pigeon breast is served as a starter. A filling is recommended for a whole animal in order to be able to increase the yield at least a little. By the way, only meat from young animals tastes really good. From the age of about one year, pigeon meat often proves to be extremely tough.

Tip: It is advisable to buy deep-frozen pigeon meat and avoid slaughtering it yourself. In the meantime, there are also very specific combinations that contain, for example, only the popular pigeon breast.

Food culture

There is evidence that Columbidae were already consumed regularly in antiquity. In the Middle Ages they even played a relatively large role on the menu. However, until the 20th century, it was more wealthy people who could enjoy it. So you first had to be able to afford to eat pigeons. A change only took place here in the 20th century. In Germany, especially immediately after the two world wars, simple, rather poor people also ate pigeon meat. Besides rabbits, pigeons were often the only meat they could get at this time.

With the beginning of the economic miracle, people switched to pork or beef. The pigeon was pushed to the edge and developed into an exclusive product for gourmets. One reason for this may have been that many people considered pigeons to be very unhygienic. That may be true with the typical city pigeons, but they are usually not consumed.