For decades consumers have raced to their neighborhood supermarket in search of good meat. They're often found pre-packaged and things only get better when the cuts are on sale. While there's nothing wrong with heading to the grocery store for meat, you should really consider heading to your local butcher instead. They can offer you cuts of meat and conversation the majority of chain stores can't.
It has long been a rumor that butchers only offer expensive pieces of meat, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Butchers actually have prices that are close to those found in supermarkets. Their prices are even better when you're buying in bulk and you may sometimes come across butchers who will negotiate cost.
When you're in stores, you often see the same kinds of meat everywhere. You'll have your typical hamburger meat, steaks, pork chops, and chicken breasts. But, what happens when you want to veer off the ventured path and cook up something rarer? Your local butcher will easily have a better selection than most supermarkets and you'll be able to get your hands on cuts of meat not found in the big chain stores.
Typically, grocery store departments hire people knowledgeable about their field. Bakers selling you cakes will know which flavor best suits your get-together or needs and those in the meat department can offer help on which cuts will be best for dinner. The thing is, though, that the packages usually tell us all we need to know and we don't usually seek out an employee for information.
The difference with a butcher is that they're solely focussed on meat. It's their livelihood, which means they'll be able to go more in depth with you when you have questions. They know where their meat comes from, the diet of the animal, and can even provide tips for supper. Most butchers, especially local ones, have more than likely been in the business for years as well. This means you'll have someone with years of experience and a good understanding of their selection.
They can also guide you on how to prepare certain cuts of meat and may even have some friendly suggestions on what to pair your dinner with. Butchers will help you choose side dishes and sometimes the best wine.
As you can imagine, talking with your butcher about meat, dinner, and life will surely lead to building a relationship. That's not to say you should dump your life story on them every time you see them, but you can discuss many food-related items on your agenda. Everyone loves walking into a store where you're on a first-name basis with the employees since the camaraderie makes for a more comfortable atmosphere.
Not only are the cuts of meat rarer in a butcher shop, but the quality is more than likely higher as well. Inquire about how your animals were raised, what they were fed, and how they were slaughtered. All these things contribute to better meat and you won't find any cuts from the butcher that are pumped with chemicals or additives.
What's more, you'll probably find a butcher who can cut meat to your tastes. Based on what you're looking for and what your butcher helps you select, you may need specific cuts. Your local butcher will be happy to oblige.
Visiting your local butcher has plenty of advantages. You'll be able to talk meat with someone who's not only knowledgeable but genuinely interested in the topic. Local butchers also offer fair prices that are often on par with your supermarket. You can also find better quality, rarer cuts of meat you typically won't see in stores. It's worth visiting the butcher in your neighborhood to see for yourself what they can offer you.**