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venison (vĕnˈĭzən) [key] [O.Fr., = hunting], term formerly applied to the flesh of any wild beast or game hunted and used for food but now restricted to the flesh of members of the deer family. The meat is best if the animal is plump, forest fed, and at least five years old; it is improved by hanging in a cool, airy place. In Alaska, N Canada, Siberia, and the Scandinavian Lappland, the domestication and breeding of reindeer developed a new meat supply resembling beef in taste and texture, but with less fat.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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