Embracing Non-Traditional Cuts in Everyday Cooking
Traveling the globe and experiencing other cultures, one may find themselves in contact with food markets and menus chock-full of interesting cuts such as pig snouts, beef cheeks, tongue, liver, or heart. This may not come as a surprise, as many parts of the world have been eating these interesting cuts for centuries.
In the U.S. however, these cuts are just starting to experience a resurgence. Local butcher shops in the U.S. used to be much more prevalent and offered any cut requested from the purchaser. However, today, a large portion of consumers rely on supermarkets as a one-stop-shop for buying meat, dry goods, fruits, vegetables, etc. For quite a few years, U.S. consumers had gotten away from the more “boutique” shopping model of butcher shops or farm stands and leaned into the one-stop-shop. Although this brought efficiency and convenience to our daily lives, in most cases, it cut down on the variety of items available in many of those departments, especially the meat department.
Today, however, there is renewed interest in these non-traditional cuts and for a variety of reasons, more people in the U.S. are adopting a “snout-to-tail” experience with meat consumption.
Due to the recession, in 2008, many U.S. chefs were forced to get creative, bringing in more economical cuts of meat, to bring costs down. Processors and butchers began to cut animals into smaller, finer pieces that are more interesting, following some European traditions. Once the economy picked back up the desire for these non-traditional cuts kept climbing due to younger Americans having more sophisticated palates, seeking out more interesting food experiences, and a growing desire for global flavors.
Proponents of “snout-to-tail” today view the movement as a way to cut food waste since cuts that used to be thrown out or cast aside are now being highlighted in a new light and consumed at a much higher rate.
The snout-to-tail movement includes wildly interesting cuts such as tongue and liver, but also some less exotic cuts that have mostly been ignored for decades such as skirt steaks, short ribs, and brisket.
Technology has also lent a hand in simplifying how some of these non-traditional cuts can be prepared using a slow cooker, multi-cooker, or the sous-vide method. This has allowed cuts such as brisket or pork shoulder to easily find their way onto our dinner tables.
At Locavore Delivery
We buy whole animals and have them processed to our specifications. Meaning, we have pretty much every cut available to our subscribers! Within our curated variety subscriptions we enjoy sending some “staple” items such as ground beef but also some more non-traditional cuts. We don’t send anything too exotic unless you request it! If you are interested in a true snout-to-tail experience, or just want to try a certain cut that you’ve been hearing about, give us a shout and we’re happy to get you