Have You Ever Had South Dakota Tiger Meat?
Raw Meat on a Cracker
It was the mid-1970's and I was a young pup working at my first radio job in Winner, South Dakota. I had just started doing high school sports play-by-play when one of the coaches said the local sports booster club was needin' to raise some money, so they were sponsoring a Tiger Meat feed and I was invited.
Uh, what kind of feed? Yep, Tiger Meat.
What is Tiger Meat?
Now I was admittedly a fresh-faced young kid from southwest Minnesota, but I'm pretty sure that South Dakota was not home to roaming tigers on the plains. So I just figured it was a joke, one of the old boys in town pulling the leg of the young 'un who hadn't been here long. Ha ha ha ha ha...
And then I ended up at the local booster club's Tiger Meat feed.
And I learned that this Tiger Meat had absolutely nothing to do with tigers (kind of like Rocky Mountain Oysters have nothing to do with Oysters, but that's another story).
No, this tiger meat was beef which I loved and it was raw, which I didn't.
You see when I was growing up on that little Minnesota farm, my mom had one way to cook. Well done. And to this day, that's the way I like my meat (I know, I know, you're thinking it's ruined that way. Well, one man's 'ruined' is another man's favorite).
Anyway, come to find out that tiger meat is enjoyed not only in South Dakota but in other midwestern states as well. And no, it's not just a raw hunk-o-beef.
Commonly it's raw hamburger along with raw egg, onion, salt, pepper, and as many other seasonings as you care to add. Mix it all up in a bowl and serve it on crackers.
Turns out it's a kind of German heritage thing. Oh, and with all, we know now about consuming raw or undercooked meat, well, I guess it's a 'try it at your own risk' kind of thing.
I'm not sure Tiger Meat is a big deal anymore but all these years later I remember well when I was introduced to it...but didn't try it. So, have you?
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