How Gamey Do You Like Your Wild Game?

Now that the Month of GameSaver is over we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming, but not before thanking the good people at FoodSaver for donating a month's worth of prizes--and all the Wild Chef readers for participating in each week's contest. In fact, it was some your comments in our first contest that got me thinking about the flavor of fish and game and the lengths some hunters and anglers go through to mask it. Now, there's the matter of taste and everyone's palate being different, but it seems some folks want their deer to taste like beef, or their fish to taste like something other than what it is. Former vegan turned hunter Tovar Cerulli, over at the thought-provoking and well-executed blog "A Mindful Carnivore," had a great post and lively discussion a few weeks ago where he asks the questions:

The gamey flavor. What is with that?

Is this notion stuck in people's heads because they're freaked out by the idea of eating wild animals? Is it rooted in cultural and economic history, in the feeling that game-consumption is a sign of poverty?

Are people speaking from experience? Have they been subjected to horrendous cooking? Have they been traumatized by eating venison that was poorly processed, or was "aged" until it turned green?

I don't know. Maybe it's just me. Maybe, in my decade as a vegan, I simply forgot what domestic meat tastes like.

While I don't claim to know the answers, I do think the questions are worth asking. As for my own experience, it's been years since I ate anything wild that tasted like anything I would call gamey. I will say the very first deer I shot tasted so terrible I almost quit hunting the things. I'm glad I didn't because every deer I've shot and processed myself since has been delicious. This could be because I've since learned to cook wild game, although I've always suspected the fault lay with the processor. I was also given a freezer-full of antelope meat once that gave new meaning to the word gamey, although antelope is normally my favorite of all game meats.

What do you think? Do you mask the "gamey" flavor of your wild game or cover up the taste of fish with powerful marinades or long soaks?