This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Young kid is as freely purchased and eaten in some sections of this country as young lamb and is as good. It is often, however, sold for lamb, which is a fraud on the buyer.
Observe the lower joint of the fore-leg; the goat's leg from the knee to the hoof is one-third shorter than the sheep's. If the lower joint is cut off by the butcher there is no way of knowing the difference, but it is the common shop practice to dress lambs with all the fore-leg left on except the hoof, and to do otherwise in the kid season will be a suspicious proceeding.
"The editor of the Los Angeles Herald asked me how I would like to go out some day and help him eat a kid. I had never eaten any kids, but I did not want to show my ignorance, so I told him I should like it above all things. I thought maybe there was a time here when the people thought they must eat a kid or two, and I did not want to stop their pleasure, so I agreed to go. I thought maybe if I did not like the kid, when the time came they would let me lunch on a harness tug or something. He set Sunday as the day, and the result is I am just about as full of youthful goat as a man can be, and if I don't bleat before morning it will be strange. Lynch has a friend who keeps an Italian restaurant, where everything is cooked right. Once a year or so he secures a young kid and keeps it until it is about six weeks old, feeding it on nothing but its mother's milk. It never eats a spear of grass and is simply fed on milk. The kid is taken off into a canyon, away from the vile city, beside mountain streams, killed and dressed and cooled, and placed on sticks over the embers of a fire, and roasted, being basted and turned frequently, and when done to a turn it is placed upon an improvised table, camp fashion, and the happy, hungry man who has an invitation to that dinner begins to get to his work.
I had wondered, all the way, whether I could eat goat. I had thought of all the goats I had ever met around livery stables, and could remember just how they smelled, but when I first got a smell of that cremated kid I wondered if there would be any of it left for the rest of the party. I have eaten many delicious dishes in my time, but I never ate anything so delicious as the kid of to-day, roasted by my Italian friends and aided by some Los Angeles claret and plenty of mountain air, while the mountain stream at our feet sang so joyously, and I will go further to enjoy another half of a small goat, if I ever get the chance, than to partake of any meal that can be produced".
"A fine billy-goat, weighing 56 lbs., formed the gastronomic feature of a feast recently given by the proprietor of the Duke of Lancaster, Royton, Lancashire. About fifty guests sat down to supper, and according to a local chronicler, 'there was but one opinion expressed at the finish of the appetizing meal, that the flesh of the animal partaken of was equal in all respects to the finest Southdown.' Kid's flesh, we know from personal experience, is not half bad, but the thought of billy-goat in his prime is too appalling".