Can you eat alpacas?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat alpacas, what are alpacas, are llamas the same as alpacas, where is alpaca meat eaten, is it healthy to eat alpacas, how is alpaca meat sold, and how is alpaca meat eaten. 

Can you eat alpacas?

Yes, alpacas meat can be eaten especially in Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. Alpaca meat tastes similar to beef meat but has a nutritional content more similar to poultry. It is considered exotic meat and in some places such as Australia, meat from alpaca is considered a gourmet delicacy. 

What are alpacas?

Alpacas are mammals very similar to llamas, they both were domesticated from their close relatives the vicuña and the guanaco. There are two types of alpacas:

  • Suri Alpaca
  • Huacaya alpaca

Alpacas live in the heights of the Andes of southern Peru, western Bolivia, Ecuador, and the north of Chile. They are specifically used for their fiber which is used for knitting and woven items very similar to sheep’s wool. Items made from alpacas fiber include

  • Blankets
  • Sweaters
  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Textiles
  • Ponchos
  • Socks
  • Coats
  • Bedding

Alpacas communicate with each other by spitting at each other. Spitting between alpacas is a form to show dominance when they feel stress, fear, or agitated. Male alpacas are more aggressive than female alpacas. 

Are llamas the same as alpacas?

No, llamas and alpacas are not the same. They are both commonly found in Peru and Bolivia. The most common difference between alpacas and llamas is their size, hair, and face shapes. Also, llamas are usually used for human transportation while alpacas are used for their fiber and meat. 

Size90 cm high at the shoulder120 cm at the shoulder
Weight55 – 65 kg113 kg
FaceSmall blunt faces with short earsElongated faces with banana-sized ears
HairShaggy hair Coarse hair
UseUsed for fleece productionPack animals

Where is alpaca meat eaten?

Alpaca meat is beginning to be more popular, especially in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. The only state in the United States that does not permit the sale of alpaca meat in Hawaii. 

Alpaca meat is also very commonly found in Peru and Bolivia. There are many restaurants that can offer alpaca meat on their menu. 

Is it healthy to eat alpacas? 

Yes, alpaca meat is one of the healthiest red meat on the market. Even if alpaca meat is very unpopular in a lot of places and in some countries is banned because of religious concepts, it is very high in nutrients. 

1 serving of 100 grams of alpaca meat there is 150 calories, 6 grams of fat, 23 grams of protein, 60 mg of cholesterol, 2.5 mg of iron, 0.3 mg of calcium, 0.4 mg of zinc, 0.4 mg of vitamin A, 0.3 mg of vitamin D and 0.17 mg of vitamin E.  

It has an excellent amount of protein and is rich in minerals and vitamins. Alpaca meat has a lot of benefits such as

  • Prevent Anemia
  • Improve Brain function
  • Promoting an increase in muscle mass
  • Avoid dementia Helps with weight management

How is alpaca meat sold?

The most common way alpaca meat is sold includes

  • Ground meat
  • Shoulder roll
  • Back strap
  • Tenderloin
  • Strip Loin
  • Steak
  • Rump

Alpaca meat is under the jurisdiction of the FDA and not the USDA. So, the ground meat of alpaca generally contains about 3% of ground beef or ground pork so the USDA has permission to inspect it and approved it for sale. 

How is alpaca meat eaten?

Alpaca meat is eaten just like any other red meat. You can find hamburgers, meatballs, casseroles or any other way just like red meat. You can also eat the cut grilled or sauteed. Alpaca meat is perfect to cook at high temperatures so that a caramelized coat forms around the cut. 

Follow this link on how to grill alpaca meat


This article answered can you eat alpacas, what are alpacas, are llamas the same as alpacas, where is alpaca meat eaten, is it healthy to eat alpacas, how is alpaca meat sold, and how is alpaca meat eaten. 


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