We’re back from our vacation and holy God was it awesome. I’m not going to regale you with the play by play of our honeymoon (for that, look for my upcoming sextape: “Sausage innuendo the musical”). I would, however, like to pass along some of the meat related knowledge I gleaned while in the land of meat pies and Sunday roasts. I dragged my way too understanding wife to no fewer than a dozen butcher shops, from the big names to the local joints and saw some amazing stuff along the way. Here’s some of the highlights of the first leg of the trip: London.
I’m in crisis mode getting ready for my butcher shop reconnaissance trip/honeymoon - 3 days and counting, try not to miss me too much - it’s funny how something you plan all year for can suddenly sneak up on you. Last weekend I was visiting my parents (happy birthday mom!) to drop off our dog that they’ll be watching while we’re gone (sorry mom!). The great thing about my parents is that they still get Reader’s Digest. The great thing about Reader’s Digest is that it apparently still espouses complete bullshit regarding food safety.
You don’t have to follow that link, and it’s probably better if you don’t give them the ad revenue (and really like half that website is ads). Basically they rank different meats in terms of their relative “safety” from food borne illnesses. Given that Reader’s Digest is essentially bathroom reading anyway I’m probably the only person who would actually take it seriously, but since I’m grumpy about most everything I feel the need to have a bit of a talk about it. I can’t quite figure out what I disagree with more, their findings or their general premise.
About 8 months ago my wife and I moved from Brooklyn to Southeast Pennsylvania. It’s been a hugely successful move for us; We’ve got more space, I work in a great new shop, and the bounty of Pennsylvania agriculture is open to us everywhere we go - you can’t throw a long john in this town without hitting a farmer’s market bursting with locally raised produce and meat. But for all the easy aspects of this transition, the one thing about this area that still remains wonderfully perplexing to us is the local food culture; handed down generation to generation from the original settlers of this area, the food stylings and culture is collectively known as the Pennsylvania Dutch.
7 years ago I took a trip with a girl I was dating to England and Scotland. We fell in love with the pubs, great beer, and shockingly agreeable weather. At the time we were still in college, mostly drunk, and not nearly as interested in all the awesome butcher shops and meat markets as we should have been.
Almost two years back said girl and myself got married; which has been completely awesome - she’s great, and supremely supporting for someone finding herself forced into the periphery of the butchery game. We’ve both been saying for years that we have to get back there - given our shared love of River Cottage and English culture in general is a tragedy it’s taken us as long as it has. Why am I telling you this? Well, work schedules have finally aligned and one month hence we’re off on a well-deserved honeymoon to the UK
My plan for this “definitely not work related” vacation is to “definitely not spend my time dragging my long suffering wife from butcher shop to butcher shop” in this mecca of old school meat shops. Now, Google Analytics tells me that my second largest readership contingent (so like, 12 of you) is from the UK and I’m guessing you intelligent, beautiful readers might have some inside knowledge about the butchery scene across the pond. I’m on the lookout for any and all recommendations for butcher shops that I should “happen to wander across” when we’re there. We’re flying into London and out of Edinburgh with the majority of our time spent in Dorset and Devon - time which will include dinner and a meat course at River Cottage!!!
So if you know of a can’t miss butcher shop that we, well, can’t miss, shoot me a line at Bill@Themeatcase.com or leave a comment. I'll happily repay you in the form of delicious ale. In any event, expect lots of pictures come the beginning of September.
My job really rocks. If I haven’t made it abundantly clear by this point, let me just tell you that every single day I get up and get to go to work is like a gift from the God of Awesome Jobs. Getting to break down high quality carcasses, meet awesome customers, be in movies - it’s all pretty much a dream come true. But without a doubt, the best part of my job is getting to go on farm visits.