FOOD Try a buffalo burger: You'll have no beef
Buffaloes are raised on a farm in Ellsworth Township.
By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD -- Close your eyes, and it's just like eating a hamburger at Wendy's. In fact, open your eyes, and it will still taste just like one. The burger is even square like those at Wendy's.
The difference is that Wendy's hamburgers are made of beef. The burgers sold at the Hickory Hill Farms concession stand at the Canfield Fair are made of buffalo.
"It's an excellent alternative to beef," said Becky McNell, assistant farm manager. "If you like beef, there's no reason you wouldn't like it," she said.
First time at the fair
The Hickory Hill Farms stand, located on Miller Drive between Smith and Coitsville drives at the fairgrounds, sells buffalo burgers, roast buffalo sandwiches and shaved buffalo meat.
This is the first year the stand has been at the fair.
The meat sold at the stand is from some of the 100 buffaloes raised in a 100-acre pasture at Hickory Hill Farms, on Gibson Road in Ellsworth Township.
McNell said the buffaloes are also made into steaks and roasts. She stressed, however, that buffalo is lower in fat and cholesterol than beef.
"It's very heart-healthy," she said.
McNell also noted that buffalo meat is high in iron, which makes it beneficial to women.
She added, however, that many women shy away from trying a buffalo burger.
"Men, generally, they want the buffalo burger," McNell said. "Women are more like, 'Ewwwwww, buffalo.'"
Spreading the word
McNell said the owner of Hickory Hills Farms, Alice Neuman, decided to have a concession stand at the fair this year, "to get buffalo out to the people."
Buffalo from the farm also is sold at Skylark and Grandview restaurants in Canfield and the Wrangler's Olde Country Restaurant in North Jackson.
McNell noted that buffaloes are solitary animals that enjoy good pasture much like steers.
McNell said Neuman began raising buffaloes in 1980.
"My boss is very health conscious," she said, adding, "We've all become quite attached to the buffalo."