Quails are easily distinguished by the six feathers on top of their head known as a plume. Quails are small cute birds, but that hasn’t stopped people from hunting them for their eggs and meat. These small birds prey on insects and eat seeds and food grains for sustenance. In some parts of the world, they have almost gone extinct from excessive hunting.
Quail are ground dwellers; they have light feathers but can only fly short distances at a time. They have a wingspan of about 32 to 35 centimeters, with a scale-like feather arrangement and different colors depending on their type. They can lay up to 10 to 20 eggs at one go.
Quails are omnivores; they can eat almost anything, but 90 percent of their diet is made up of plants. Quails are very small. When the average quail is cooked, one bird is not big enough to be served as a whole meal.
What does quail taste like? The taste of quail is very similar to chicken; they are both ground dwellers. But quail is much tastier and more tender than chicken. The taste of quail might be better described as a cross between duck and chicken. Farm-raised quails will taste more like chicken because of how they are raised and the kind of food they are fed. This bird has very small bones that are tender enough to be eaten.
Quail eggs are also edible and are considered to be a delicious dish in several cooking circles. The eggs are easily distinguished by the black irregular shapes you will find on their shells.
Nutritional Benefits of Quail
This small bird might have a small body, but it packs a lot of nutritional benefits. Quail is a great source of vitamins. You also have minerals like phosphorus, zinc, iron, and protein. Let’s get right into the vitamins we can find in quail and what they do for the body.
Vitamin K is one of the vitamins you can find in quail. It helps the body absorb calcium and helps with blood clotting when you get injured. Quails are also good sources of vitamin A, which is great for the eyes, skin, and strengthening of the bones.
You can get several B vitamins from eating quail, B vitamins strengthen the central nervous system and increase metabolism. Quail also contains vitamin D, which helps the body absorb macro elements and helps the growth of bones in the body.
Eating quail meat might help with respiratory disorders or diseases. It is possible that eating quail meat could help with vegetative-vascular dystrophy, asthma, and tuberculosis. Meat from bats and squirrels is also known to have this same property.
Quail meat also contains a significant amount of protein, which is great for building tissues and muscles in the body and also helps the regeneration of cells in the skin, hair, and nails. Protein obtained from eating quail can also facilitate the production of hormones and enzymes in our body. The protein from quail helps to stabilize LDL cholesterol (the bad kind of cholesterol) in the body, benefiting heart health and reducing the risk of heart-related diseases.
Quail happens to be a good source of iron which helps with the production of hemoglobin and erythrocytes which can help treat anemia and increase the volume of blood produced in the body.
Quail meat comes with a lot of benefits, but consuming too much quail meat can expose the body to serious health threats like the build-up of cholesterol in the body, dermatomyositis, low blood pressure, and kidney-related diseases. Quail meat should be consumed in moderation no matter how delicious it might be.
Culinary Uses of Quail
You can roast, grill, broil, sauté, braise, or fry quail meat. Quail is great in dishes and recipes; while it might taste a bit like chicken, it has that gamey flavor. When you cook quail at the right temperature, the meat is tender and moist, but when you overcook it, the texture becomes hard and chewy.
Quail might be too tiny for stews and soups, but nothing is stopping you from having it in your favorite soup or stew recipe. Quail can also be battered and deep-fried, it might leave you feeling like eating fried chicken, but it is still a wonderful experience.
You almost can’t go wrong with quail in the kitchen, the only problem you might have is having to eat as many as 2 or 3 birds before feeling like you have something substantial in your stomach. Quail meat pairs well with savory or continental recipes.
You can enjoy stuffed quail by stuffing these little birds with any filling of your choice and bake or grill them. Another straightforward recipe you can try is steamed quail, it does require a long cooking time, and it saves the meat from drying out.
Where Can You Get Quail?
A quail has a life span of 3 to 4 years; on average, it lays about 300 eggs annually. Quails can be found in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America, but wild Japanese quails are more specific to some parts of Africa, Russia, and East Asia. They nest on the ground, and will usually be found in grassy fields or meadows. Catching them should be fun, they are small, light, and fast on their feet.
Is Quail Better Than Chicken?
When it comes to size, chicken wings win the contest fair and square. Quails are more nutritious, even though you have to eat more of them to get in the proper amount your body needs. Quail eggs are also smaller than chicken eggs, but they offer enough nutritional benefit to even do your brain some good.
Quail meat also has a gamey flavor that one would enjoy in a dish. When it comes to which one is best, quail excels in nutritional benefits, but the choice might boil down to your personal preference.
Facts You Don’t Know About Quail
- Quail has a higher protein content than chicken, so they are more filling than chicken. An average adult can only manage to eat two or three quails even though they are very small compared to chicken.
- Quails are usual prey for foxes and wildcats in the wild.