18 / Lamb, Hogget and Mutton

Any way you dress it – a Sunday roast, a lamb chop with mint sauce, or mutton in the guise of lamb – sheep meat is a New Zealand staple, the inevitable consequence of our farming heritage. In New Zealand – and elsewhere – the meat of the sheep is categorised according to the age of the animal. In this country newborn sheep arrive in late winter and spring (August–October), and are known as lambs until nearly a year old, when they become hoggets. Prior to that, when a lamb is weaned and no longer drinks from its mother, it is also known as a weaner. A hogget is a juvenile sheep, and when it has more than two incisor teeth it is classed as an adult. The meat of the adult sheep, both female (ewe) and castrated male (wether), is known as mutton.


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