One of the best parts of the game was getting to go hunting. Often you would only "find" a rabbit, but if you were lucky, you'd nab a bison, providing you and your wagon with plenty of delicious meat. Of course, what the game never mentions is that bison were almost hunted to extinction in the 19th century. Ooops.
Luckily, the bison are making a comeback. And weirdly, their populations are growing, in a large part, because of an increased demand for bison meat. It may seem counter-intuitive, but demand for bison meat encourages ranch owners to raise bison. Higher demand for bison meat means more ranchers raising more bison. Thus one of the best ways to preserve bison, is to ... eat bison meat.
Of course none of that was going through my mind on Sunday when my friends and I saw a vendor at the farmer's market selling grass-fed bison. Mostly I was thinking, "Wow! Now I can be just like a pioneer!" So we bought some, along with some strawberries, apricots, artichokes, and cheese.
Dinner was a sumptuous affair, and probably way better than any pioneer meal could possibly have been. Goat cheese brie with bread. Artichokes with butter and lemon. Vodka strawberry lemonade. Grilled apricots. But the piece de resistance? The bison burgers.
I am not the biggest meat eater. I was a vegetarian for four years, and I still don't eat much meat. I still generally prefer the taste of vegetables.
But this? Was the best damn burger I have ever, ever eaten. Seriously, I never knew meat could taste so amazing.
So let's see. Helping to preserve a once-endangered species? Check! Eating grass-fed meat low in cholesterol and high in omega-3? Check! Local? Check! Delicious? Check! Pretending to be a pioneer? Check!
I mean really, what's not to love? Now if you'll excuse me, I have a river to ford.