What do you think is the most popular type of meat consumed around the world? Most people might guess beef or chicken, but they’d be wrong. The answer is goat meat (source). While 63% of our global population eats goat, you still don’t see it that often on American menus. But there’s a town in Texas that’s been doing their part for many years to try to raise the profile of goat meat and introduce it to the masses.
This Labor Day Weekend, September 2-3, the town of Brady, Texas hosts the World Championship Barbecue Goat Cook-off . In its 43rd year, this annual festival takes place in beautiful Richards Park, surrounded by old, shady trees along Brady Creek. “World Championship” might be a bit broad of a description; I’m guessing there aren’t many entrants from outside the U.S. But when it comes to anything “barbecue”, I don’t even think anything beyond the U.S. south counts. (I want to say that nothing outside Texas counts, but I’m trying to not be biased).
Texas is no stranger to weird festivals, but this one is not as random as it might first seem. Brady is “goat country”. There are hundreds of goat farms and ranches in the vicinity, dating back many, many decades. You’ll see T-shirts and bumper stickers around town with sayings like “Vote for Goat” and “Goat Bless Texas”. So, it’s no surprise that Brady folks want to preach the goat gospel and share what they know about this delicious dish.
If you aren’t sure whether you like goat meat, I’m convinced most people will be enthusiastic converts after spending time at this cook-off. The competitors are some of the best cooks in the state. Visitors get a chance to taste the various goat preparations during the Great Cabrito Feed (“cabrito” is Spanish for “young goat”), from 11 am – 1 pm on Saturday.
Afterwards, stick around for the judging to find out who the top goat ‘cue master is. In addition to the tasty barbecue, you’ll find traditional festival fare, games, arts and crafts vendors, live music, dancing, and some goat-oriented entertainment, like goat roping by some talented goat cowboys (goatboys?)
Go this weekend to get your goat on in Brady. And bring the kids! (pun intended).