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By by Hilary L.

Craving something a little different in a burger? Try one of these unusual varieties

Forget apple pie. Hamburgers are the true “national food” of America. The beef ones come come in an endless variety of forms. Still, there are options for those who have become tired of the traditional beef burger. Here are a few of the more unusual meats that we thought you might like in exotic burgers:

Bison – While not particularly unusual today compared to some of the other items on this list-one can find frozen bison burgers in most large retail stores-these tasty burgers are still not recognized by the typical “patty” enthusiast. For dieters, bison makes an excellent alternative to beef burgers due to its lower fat percentage and caloric content. Go ahead … have two! In most cases, two bison burgers still do not add up to a single Big Mac.

Lamb – Along with pork and chicken, lamb is usually considered one of the “other” white meats, and the ground version of it makes for a particularly flavorful burger. Burger connoisseurs love lamb for its distinctively gamey flavor while still retaining the textural quality of beef. Only choose this variety of meat when inviting over the more intrepid of your friends, as it is considered an acquired taste.

Antelope – With an innate flavor that is as pronounced as it gets, antelope burgers are without a doubt a hunter’s delight but often get shunned by the folks at home. When introducing this burger to new people, it is probably best to include some tangy accompaniments. Our recommendations are a sriracha-embellished ranch dressing and sweet caramelized onions. It is hard to beat that combination.

Salmon – For a decided change of pace, try a burger made from this flavorful fish. Salmon burgers offer a great taste sensation without the heaviness of regular hamburgers. Like beef, salmon is high in protein but also provides the benefit of a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. The only downside? Your pesky vegetarian friends still won’t eat a burger made of fish-it has a face, after all. We don’t understand the position but we respect it. Still, their loss is our gain.

Ostrich – Going even further afield from the average beef and aforementioned salmon burgers, aficionados of ground meat will surely appreciate a patty made from the very tasty meat of this largest of birds. Ostrich meat can be considered an acquired taste by dilettantes but true food lovers know that it simply fills a different niche in the vast gastronomical rainbow. Burger lovers should not overlook this meat, as it tastes like no other burger in the world.

Black bean – A final great burger includes these ingredients: partially dehydrated black beans, crumbled feta cheese, plus a sautéed mixture of onions, poblano peppers and garlic. The result is a remarkably firm burger that is not even vaguely reminiscent of the term “vegan.” Add some chopped cashews into the mix and coat with Japanese panko-style bread crumbs and these burgers will take on a life of their own.

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