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Wildfood.info • View topic - The Changing Face of the Butchers

The Changing Face of the Butchers

Out of the main bustle of the Coffee shop this is where people gather to share recipes and tips/tricks.

The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby earthmaiden » January 19th, 2020, 10:59 am

https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/whats-on ... 750237.amp

I found this article quite interesting. Quite apart from the campaign to eat less meat, I can see that younger generations could feel intimidated about visiting a butcher due to lack of knowledge. The rise of supermarket meat has not only sanitised the selling of meat but also hugely reduced the number of cuts that people are familiar with.

Maybe its time for TV chefs and butchers to get together and promote the whole animal alongside plant dishes and to make butcher visits less intimidating? The butcher featured here has been there for many years, I remember that our own FCQ used to like to go there if she was in Bath.
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby StokeySue » January 19th, 2020, 12:40 pm

We had a fantastic butcher in a caravan at our organic farmer’s market a few years back. They would cut you exactly what you wanted while you watched. :D

I was chatting to a young mum in the queue who mentioned that she preferred the butcher’s at Islington market because their meat was “properly packed, like in the supermarket”

If someone like her, who makes an effort to get good stuff direct from the producer, doesn’t get how butchery works, there’s little hope.
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby Suelle » January 19th, 2020, 1:20 pm

Both of the butchers we have left here (2 have closed in the last 10 years) have their displays full of sausages, burgers, ready-flavoured stir-fry strips, pies, and recognisable cuts of meat such as chops - much like the average supermarket meat counter, really.

One is a pork butcher, who has carcasses delivered through the front door on the High Street (causing much consternation to passing parents with young children) and the other stocks seasonal things like game birds, venison, rabbit and goat, so they are 'real' butchers, but they obviously know what the majority of their customers want.
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby Seatallan » January 19th, 2020, 1:26 pm

We're rather spoiled for good butchers around here. Whether it's because we're in a rural area (with small, traditional market towns) possibly? Either way, it makes me very happy.... :D
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby aero280 » January 19th, 2020, 3:06 pm

We lost the really good butcher a few years ago. But there's a newer one that's nearer who is very traditional. He's got apprentices as well.

I was in the old butcher in a queue. it was unusual in that all the customers were men apart from the lady at the counter being served. She was buying a chicken. The butcher asked if she wanted it boned. She looked a bit surprised, but said "Yes". Then the butcher asked her if she wanted the bones, and she looked around in a bit of a panic, whereupon the assembled men in the shop said "Yes, you do!" :D

It turned out that there was to be a dinner party and her cook was very busy getting things ready and had sent her out to buy a chicken!! :D
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby aero280 » January 19th, 2020, 3:09 pm

For anyone local, here's a facebook link. https://www.facebook.com/ShallisButchers
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby Pepper Pig » January 19th, 2020, 3:15 pm

There are no traditional butchers in Harrow. There are some butchers but they are all Halal. Even the kosher one has gone. I have to go to Pinner for proper meat. Pinner being Pinner means you pay a premium so I either use Waitrose or online.

Massively impressed with this lot at Borough on Friday. We tasted and tasted and it was all stunning.

https://boroughmarket.org.uk/traders/northfield-farm

Jan was lovely too.
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby PatsyMFagan » January 19th, 2020, 7:23 pm

Our last remaining butcher closed just before Christmas ... he never really had the charisma, or knowledge of what I would call a good butcher. All his meat was displayed in ready to go packs and when I asked him if his bacon was British or Danish, he said he didn't know, he just bought the cheapest as that was what his customers wanted :rolleyes: I rarely saw any customers in there, so not surprised at his demise. We do have another butcher shop in Denham, but the certification that used to hang in the window when a previous butcher was there is now gone. Others rate them, but when I once asked for a free range chicken, he went out the back and brought with him a carcass that looked the same as those on display :? They do sell bags of chicken frames (bones etc) though, quite cheaply, so I have bought those for stock and plenty of meat pickings after being cooked. We also have a butcher in the Pavilions shopping arcade in Uxbridge - a chain I think- but although lots of cuts of meat and plenty of bones for stock, no sign of anything free range, never mind organic :(
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby aero280 » January 19th, 2020, 7:31 pm

Our guy has fully traceable meat. Mostly rare breed stuff. :tu: :tu:

The biggest problem is that he's opposite the school and parking can be difficult at times...
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby Pepper Pig » January 19th, 2020, 7:49 pm

You have to pay to park anywhere in Pinner.
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby Badger's mate » January 19th, 2020, 7:53 pm

We've got a couple of very good butchers in town and several farms selling meat at the gate or at local farmers' markets. Additionally there are a couple of farm shops which stock local produce. I use one of the two butchers, friends prefer the other. Ours is an excellent game dealer but I rarely buy their sausages or chicken. We get very good sausages from a local guy who used to make Braughing sausages before they were taken to Newmarket, and there's a good chicken farmer who does the rounds of the FMs. I try to buy treacle bacon whenever I see it, but that usually requires travelling further afield.
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby Busybee » January 19th, 2020, 9:32 pm

We are very lucky with two third generation butchers locally, and one newer one.

Both the established butchers have a changing list of which farms each type of meat currently come from and how far away in miles that is. I think the mileage thing is really for the benefit of newer residents as most locals know all the local farms. Our newish (to the area) celebrity chef was very impressed with our butcher and tweeted her followers about the wonderful produce. The butcher doesn’t do social media but was pleased as punch to be mentioned.

They have some meat packaged up ready to go, but most stuff you ask for as it’s in the back, the whole shop is on the farm and really very small - you can’t get more than three customers in at a time. They are really good at advising how to cook stuff if you are unsure and even have free recipe cards featuring different cuts of meat. In addition to meat they sell eggs, honey and a small amount of cheese, you can also buy Panto tickets, book music lessons and village hall hire! It really is a little gem of a place!

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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby earthmaiden » January 19th, 2020, 10:06 pm

Our best ones are at farm shops in the area. The locality near me has a few small shops and about 5 years ago, two butchers suddenly opened in the same area, one on the main shopping street and one round the corner. It was generally agreed that the latter was the better butcher but the other one also sells fish and a few select groceries. Sadly, the better butcher closed down. I have never much liked the one which stayed.
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby wargarden » January 20th, 2020, 7:10 am

I never knew it was so tough in UK to get high quality meat.
here i can get fresh from shop or butcher.
best butcher is closed Monday since that is day they
do the deed and resupply for the aging locker from
steers out back on pasture.

Or shoot deer or turkey from my back window,
duck, goose in woodland pond.
all when is season.
chicken if ask my neighbor from from down road.
I can fish for crabs or fish with less 30 min drive.

I can get bison,goat, lamb, mutton, and pork from some vendors I know
at farmers market.

And there is always groundhog, rabbit, possum,squirrel and raccoon if was into that but I have
kill them myself.
squab from near by city that no one would miss.

guess have easy sorry for being so lucky
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby earthmaiden » January 20th, 2020, 8:47 am

We can get those items in butchers and fishmongers but since meat has been sold in supermarkets (a good few years now!), most people find it convenient to buy it ready prepared and wrapped just as it is in US supermarkets and prefer not to think about anything but simple cuts for convenience, hence the dying out of everyday use of offal and cheaper cuts in many households to the point where younger generations have not tried it or know what to do with it. I have to say that in the US city I am most familiar with the only nice butchers I found were at farmers markets and in an area where there was a high Jewish population (the only place I saw lamb and the quality was superb). Like anywhere else, the difference in price between supermarket and the rest was considerable. I would rather pay for meat which has been raised in happy conditions but if you are feeding a family on a low income the cheaper stuff means you can have a good meal.

As said initially, I think there is a case for TV chefs to show us how to use the less attractive cuts and offal in partnership with butchers. Although there is a push for everyone to go vegan, respect for the whole animal if we do eat meat is quite important too.
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby suffolk » January 20th, 2020, 9:12 am

I think you misunderstand us Wargarden ... high quality meat is easily available to those who want it ... there are specialist butchers and game merchants in most towns and of course there are farm shops and online suppliers ... you simply have to look.
I think the premise of the article is that most younger shoppers do not know the traditional names of the cuts of meat ... many of these names are/were regional and as folk move home far more than they did the names become unfamiliar. Therefore they prefer to buy the meat ready jointed and wrapped rather than, as I was used to, being shown a part of a carcass, select a cut and watch it being butchered in front of me ... all the time engaging in social chitchat with the local butcher who knew me, my mother and my children. No one has the time for that any more ... it was a gentler pace of life. Many successful butchers have embraced this change and have plenty of wrapped cuts of meat available for the shopper to pick up, often labelled with cooking suggestions. However they are still happy to butcher a joint, trim or bone out a three rib joint of beef or French trim a rack of lamb if asked. Although my favourite butchery stall on the market closed recently because they found they were unable to attract young staff in the city centre, there are still plenty of fine butchers and game merchants stocking superb meat, often rare breed and/or organic, around Norwich and all across East Anglia ... I shop at them every week. :D
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby suffolk » January 20th, 2020, 9:15 am

EM the problem with tv chefs encouraging the use of cheaper cuts has consequences ... remember when belly of pork and lamb shanks were cheap cuts? The butchers could hardly give them away .... now look at their prices :shock: :lol:
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby earthmaiden » January 20th, 2020, 9:40 am

Very true! :lol: It would still be great to see the skill in utilising something like a pig's head. You only see it in a historical context and everyone says eewww and moves on.
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby Pepper Pig » January 20th, 2020, 9:44 am

I get very cross at the meat counter in our Waitrose because they like to say they are butchers. Not only do they not have much of a clue but they have been told they must not actually butcher any of the meat. :evil:
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby earthmaiden » January 20th, 2020, 9:51 am

Maybe stereotypical Waitrose customers wouldn't think it was 'nice' :lol:
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby suffolk » January 20th, 2020, 11:27 am

A large proportion of the customers at the Waitrose I use have moved from rural properties to the edge of the city in order to be closer to theatres, libraries, public transport, hospitals etc. They are used to the facts of rural life and would never think that proper butchery wasn’t ‘nice’. Maybe we’re not a stereotypical Waitrose community :lol:
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby earthmaiden » January 20th, 2020, 11:42 am

Suffs, you know there is the stereotypical Waitrose customer (which sadly, I have seen quite a bit of in the wider Home Counties) as well as the Wildie and ordinary types who go because it is one of their local supermarkets ;). I used the term purposely.
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby Gruney » January 20th, 2020, 11:43 am

I'm frightened of the butcher - who also runs the fish counter at my local supermarket. She is a little lady, left handed, and sports interesting tattoos. She is scarily proficient with sharp knives - but could not be more obliging. She's taken time out to show me quite a few tricks of the trade, for example, how to remove the skin from a joint of belly pork. She's a gem.
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby suffolk » January 20th, 2020, 11:49 am

“I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” —Winnie-the-Pooh
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby Suelle » January 20th, 2020, 11:56 am

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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby suffolk » January 20th, 2020, 12:01 pm

But I've discovered that if you want a particular joint or cut give them 24 hours or so notice and they'll have it ready for you. :D
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby Gruney » January 20th, 2020, 12:07 pm

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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby Busybee » January 20th, 2020, 12:13 pm

I’ve just come back from the butchers where I was brought up to date on the dress rehearsal for the village Panto - opening night this Thursday, the wedding preparations of ‘the lad’ - a lovely chatty butcher in his mid 30’s, discussed the proposed village hall renovations and bought some meat! We don’t have a post office or village shop, it really is the hub of the community.

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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby StokeySue » January 20th, 2020, 12:22 pm

I can buy meat in a supermarket, but we have two butcher’s shops, one traditional that has been in the same family for a lot longer than the 40 years I’ve lived in the area when I first moved in there were 3 other butcher’s shops on the High Street, one closed very rapidly because it was rubbish, and the other 2 faded away within 20 years - Jeff’s Shop is doing well now the competition has gone

The other is a posh butcher, good but pricey, I don’t use it much as the way it works it seems you have to order stuff in advance, which doesn’t suit me , and one or two of the staff seem to look down on anyone spending less than £50 (most, especially the manager, are lovely and helpful)

There’s a different stall in the farmer’s market these days, high quality, high welfare but it’s all pre-packed and I begrudge paying their prices for the poor standard of actual butchery. I really could do better than some of it.

I disagree on the Waitrose stereotype, surely the stereotypical Waitrose customer considers themself a bit of a foodie? My two nearest full size Waitrose stores are Holloway and Islington, but both have a choice of good butchers near by, and the North London Food Mafia go there, there’s a substantial chapter of the Guild of Food Writers around and Turner and George is their favoured butcher, though I haven’t been ther in years myself

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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby aero280 » January 20th, 2020, 3:01 pm

When the "good" butcher on the Heath retired, it carried on under the new owner, one of the former employees, but sadly he turned it into a "normal" butcher and it wasn't well run. One of the other butchers employed there got fed up and left. He was delighted to work on the butchery counter at Sainsbury. The pay was better and the hours were shorter. Flexible five day week, sometimes four longer days. And longer holidays.
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Re: The Changing Face of the Butchers

Postby Meganthemog » January 23rd, 2020, 4:50 pm

Fortunately we have lots of butcher shops in Swansea - independents plus ones in the covered market. Here they tend to specialise in either chicken, pork, beef or lamb - depending on what they rear on the farm. So I usually go to several stalls to get everything I need. One or two of them will do a variety of meats but I tend to go to the specialist stalls. In fact we had a new butchery opened a little while back so that we have 2 in about 100 yards. But yesterday M&S opened a food hall in the same street - the queues were winding around the block!
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