More and more often I’m coming across articles about local American chefs taking a more European look at food and adding rabbit dishes to their menus. Earlier this month there was a great article about chefs in Asheville, North Carolina, buying locally grown rabbit meat. And just last week, an article popped up about chefs in San Antonio, Texas, having a high demand for rabbit dishes on their menus. Not only are people looking for a more healthy meal, but chefs just love the blank canvas that rabbit meat offers. Rabbit doesn’t have an flavor of its own, so it readily absorbs the flavors of everything you season it with.
For those looking to start raising rabbits for profit, this is fantastic news. Most chefs are very happy to have a local source for their ingredients where they can be sure that they’re getting a quality product. And none of us can deny the increase of the phrase “eat local” all around us. In fact, demand is so great for rabbit meat right now, some places like Asheville are changing laws to make it easier for small scale producers to get their foot in the door. You may not be able to service all the restaurants in your city, but even one will give you a significant income which can be used to cover the costs of running your rabbitry.
Quality breeding stock is the key to producing great meat and some breeders will consider options in raising their rabbits organically as well. It’s a more expensive route, and may even require that you grow and harvest your own grains. But with all sorts of bacteria and diseases creeping into the food supply lately, having that extra piece of mind that your food source is clean is invaluable.