Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Part(s) of the solution

Following up on my last post, I wanted to continue with the importance of changing our approach to eating meat. If we follow the economics of "less for more" consumers will either have to eat less meat or spend more money. For the "average" consumer this is going to be a tough pill to swallow. Despite a growing awareness about the risks and rewards of different models of food production, most people are dealing with the much more immediate concern of feeding their families on a limited budget.

As I said in my last post, I think that eating all parts of an animal is an important aspect of changing our consumption habits. While there is certainly a stigma attached to "variety meats", offal or my personal favorite term, parts, there are tons of good reasons to be a little adventurous. Perhaps the greatest incentive is the cost, since most of these cuts provide a great deal of nutrition and, yes, flavor for a much more affordable price. (These things are of course connected. Much of the stigma around eating parts is that they have historically been poor people's food.) Luckily, many chef's are taking it upon themselves to envangelize on behalf of parts, none more so than Chris Cosentino of Incanto and Boccalone fame. If parts are safe for fine dining, then what's the problem with bringing them home as well?

Well, I know from first hand experience, the biggest obstacle is figuring out how the hell to cook it! First off, Fergus Henderson's cookbooks are an invaluable resource. Once you get them, check out this great blog by a home chef working his way through the recipes. In addition, while I don't claim to be in Henderson or Cosentino's league, I am going to add my voice to the choir and start posting about my home experimentations. Come back tomorrow to find out what will be the first mystery meat!


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