That red liquid dripping from your raw filet mignon or rump roast? Blood, right? Nope, not blood … “weep.”
A new video from Tech Insider sets us all straight about that. (As a bonus, it’s set to chipper music that may make you feel like putting on a glamorous gown and dancing around the room with your skirt steak.)
In fact, that watery scarlet ooze — officially called “weep” or “purge” — is a combo of water and myoglobin (a protein in animal muscle) that is a by-product of freezing during the shipping process.
Meat is 75 percent water, the video informs us, and when it is frozen, the water expands and forms ice crystals, which break apart the cells in the muscle. When the ice crystals in the meat melt upon defrosting, the water it turns into carries myoglobin along with it as it seeps from the meat. Iron in the myoglobin gives the weep — and the meat — its distinctive red hue.
Of course, the discovery that “weep” is not blood may do little to stop the swoony among us from feeling a little woozy at the sight of it, but hey, at least they’ll know what they’re reacting to.