• noun meat of a young calf fed solely on a milk diet, slaughtered between three and fifteen weeks old


  • The meat of a young calf 6 to 14 weeks old. Rearing methods range from calves run with their mothers on grass which gives a good-textured, dark pink meat, to those which are removed from their mothers at birth, crated and fed with an iron-deficient reconstituted milk to give an anaemic animal with very pale flesh. This latter was once highly prized but is now gradually going out of fashion.

Origin & History of “veal”

The Latin word for ‘calf’ was vitulus (it appears originally to have denoted ‘yearling’, for it is probably related to Greek étos ‘year’). Its diminutive form vitellus passed into English via Anglo-Norman veel, in the sense ‘calf-meat’. Its Old French cousin, veel, formed the basis of a derivative velin ‘calfskin for writing on’, which English adopted and adapted into vellum (15th c.).