Bison

Bison is back. The really big bovid ruminant (translation: an animal related to a cow) is no longer an endangered species. In fact, according to the 2,500-member National Bison Association, the current bison herd is up to a whopping 350,000 animals to be shipped to your table as the other red meat — translation: beef.

Ounce for ounce, bison has less fat, less sat fat, less cholesterol, fewer calories, and more protein than you-know-what. It's pretty tasty, too, with a rich meaty flavor that survives broiling and grilling but may, alas, turn dry when roasted. Not to worry: Most Americans get their first taste of bison as the broiled burger now popping up on coffee shop menus all across the country. While you're waiting to be served, take a gander at the widely distributed four-color table tent, which lists relative amounts of nutrients in 3.5-ounce (100-gram) servings of bison, beef, pork, and chicken. As you may expect, the bison wins.

One more thing: Never say "buffalo" when you mean "bison." The scientific name for American bison is — no kidding — Bison bison. The word buffalo comes from French explorers who called bison "boeuf" (meaning beef). English changed that to "buff." Common usage smoothed that out to "buffle" and eventually "buffalo." Actual buffalo are native to Asia and Africa.

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