Veal has been treasured for centuries for its delicious, succulent flavor.
Eating the meat from young calves is referenced in the Bible several times where the "fatted calf" was regarded as the choicest of animal food. Romans enjoyed veal and soon consumption of veal spread throughout early European culture. Austrians and Italians both lay claim to creating wiener schnitzel – a popular dish made with veal cutlet that is breaded and pan fried to golden brown. Veal features prominently in French cuisine and Italian cooking. Veal parmigiana, usually served with pasta, is considered an Italian-American recipe.
Veal farming spread from Europe to the United States more than 100 years ago. Raising veal is closely aligned to dairy farming. While female calves, or heifers, are kept by dairies to produce milk, the male calves are raised for veal or beef.
Today, the milk-fed veal community is the epitome of the American family farm with a rich tradition of animal care and stewardship. The average veal farm in the U.S. has between 200 to 225 animals. You will find milk-fed veal farms, generally, in those states with a strong dairy community including New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin. It is estimated that more than 50 percent of milk-fed veal calves are cared for by Mennonite or Amish farm families.