They're big, fluffy and known for their fleece, but the alpaca is becoming an increasingly popular option on the dinner plate.
While it’s not your typical rump or rack, patrons at this weekend’s Berry Show Society Wine and Food Showcase will have the chance to taste the delicate meat.
Owner of the Millpaca Stud in Berry, Ian Firth, has previously bred the animals for their fleece and now runs a full commercial operation.
He said the meat tasted somewhere between lamb and veal and was very lean, low in cholesterol, and high in protein and iron.
‘‘Put everything out of your mind and just try it,’’ Mr Firth said.
‘‘It’s got a flavour of its own.’’
The meat, which isn’t available in butcheries, will be available at the showcase for the first time this year, with showgoers treated to a ‘taste’ of smoked alpaca leg, burgers and chipolatas.
It will feature alongside a vast selection of the region’s speciality produce – from wine and other liquors, to cheese, olives and other gourmet meats.
If all that isn’t for you, there’s hand-made chocolate and fudge, jams, coffee and cakes.
The event, with more than 30 exclusive Shoalhaven exhibitors, was regarded as a premier show, Mary Seelis from Berry Show Society said.
‘‘The show continues to grow in variety each year with the development of new wineries and speciality food businesses in the region,’’ she said.
‘‘There will be demonstrations, tastings, personalities and the opportunity to sample and purchase a range of high quality wines and produce.’’
The showcase will run from noon to 5pm on Saturday at the Berry School of Arts.
Entry is $10 and includes a take-home tasting glass – See berryshow.org.au/foodwine.html.