Top | Sift

The return of the butcher

(article, Culinate staff)

Earlier this year, Culinate published an article about the growing DIY butchery trend. But for meat-lovers daunted by the prospect of home butchery, there's a related trend: the return of artisanal butcher shops. As Florence Fabricant noted in the New York Times: 

bq. Butcher shops, once a vestige, are opening in many New York neighborhoods where buying meat has often been reduced to staring down a sea of plastic-wrapped foam trays. . . . In other cities, butchers are also opening, including Barbara Lynch’s Butcher Shop in Boston, the Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley, Calif., Smoking Goose Meatery in Indianapolis, and Chop Butchery and Charcuterie in Portland, Ore.

Many of these butchers also have stands at farmers' markets, and shoppers are hitting them up for hard-to-find cuts: "crown roasts of lamb, whole veal shanks, pork cheeks, cross-rib roasts, lamb riblets, beef ribs for the barbecue, sweetbreads, lamb tongues, pork livers and even goat or rabbit that tempt home cooks but are too specialized or unusual for supermarkets." Even once-shunned meats, such as veal, are making a comeback: "These days, veal that is rosy, not ivory, because it comes from pastured animals and not young calves chained in a box is increasingly appreciated."

And while butchers can do many knife tricks that home cooks often can't, they're also teaching customers about cuts and techniques once thought lost.