KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Louisiana alligator sausage; kangaroo steak; horse, ostrich or bison burgers; buffalo stew; goat elk and deer steaks; rattlesnake meat chili; ostrich, emu or wild boar enchiladas; and stuffed rabbit hindquarters………there is no shortage of unusual meat products found in the US and around the world to sample — if you’re so inclined to do so.

As an admirer of those companies that truly offer something different in new meat products, an article about a very unusual product — the Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe that debuted mid-June at the San Diego County Fair — caught my eye. This sandwich consisted of two halves of a sweet, glazed donut stuffed with meat and melted cheese. According to The
Christian Post N. America, this product was created by Chicken Charlie's, a California-based producer of traditionally deep-fried fair food. This new offering reportedly was made to rival Dunkin Donuts' new Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich, which consists of bacon and an egg on a glazed donut. KK’s Facebook page stated: "Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe! Your stomach will thank you!" This Facebook page is also reportedly promoting the new sandwich in newspapers and on the Internet. Other Chicken Charlie's fan favorites include Krispy Kreme chicken sandwiches, bacon-wrapped pickles and other products such as deep-fried, battered, red Kool-Aid.

I can’t get my head around a sweet, glazed doughnut stuffed with Sloppy Joe meat. In fact, it’s hard to imagine eating both items separately at the same time let alone combined in a sandwich. But who knows….maybe it’s good.

Sometimes, what is an unusual meat product to one person isn’t to another. During my first business trip to Great Britain long ago, my local host kept insisting that we must stop for a hamburger at a particular place in London. During the course of several days, she built up my expectations that this was going to be the best burger I’ve ever eaten. Well, we finally stopped at this burger joint and I ordered one of the larger offerings at my host’s insistence (because she was buying one, too.) It looked and smelled great. But when I bit into it, I tried to mask my disappointment. It turns out this burger was made from grass-fed beef, which I had never eaten before. It tasted very gamey to me…but she, along with everyone else in the place but me, gobbled it down with great pleasure.

During another business trip in Australia, the last leg of that journey was in Sydney. I remember being very tired (as I visited 12 plants in five days) and hungry on the morning I was flying back to the US. The hotel I stayed at offered an impressive breakfast buffet. I usually made it a point to try at least one food I’ve never eaten before and that morning one of the offerings on the steam table was crumbed brains. The night before, I tried squid for the first time and I enjoyed it very much. The crumbed brains looked OK so I took one small spoonful. But as I tasted it…I was tempted to spit it out but swallowed it instead. I can’t describe what exactly it tasted like—but I do remember it tasting rather metallic. I also tried Vegemite (one bite) for the first and last time on toast that same morning. These days I’m a little more selective when it comes to sampling foods I’ve never eaten before.

Perhaps more introductions of unusual new meat products would help increase per capita consumption of meat in the US. According to a “Per Capita Consumption of Poultry and Livestock. 1965 to Estimated 2013, In Pounds” chart from the National Chicken Council, poultry consumption has fared better than meat consumption during this time period. In 1965, per capita consumption (in pounds) was: beef, 74.6; pork, 51.8; broilers, 29.9; other chicken, 3.8; and turkey, 7.5. This year, per capita consumption pounds estimated to be consumed are: beef, 55.4; pork, 45.6; broilers, 80.1; other chicken, 1.3; and turkey, 16.6.

Nevertheless, looking at the broader picture — agricultural experts have been predicting for some time a continuing increase in global meat per capita consumption. On one hand, per capita consumption of meat and poultry could falter if such products don’t taste good or are not affordable for many folks throughout the world. But on the other hand, it’s a safe bet to assume that here in the US and around the world that unusual, new meat products will continue to launch and that some folks will be willing – and even anxious — to try a particular, unusual product for the first time….. maybe even the Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe.