5 reasons to use your local butcher.
This week marks National Butchers Week 2019 (11th-17th March). A week for butchers up and down the country to promote their fantastic produce and try to convince the public to use their shops. There are so many reasons to buy your meat from a quality butcher rather than a supermarket and with this in mind here are 5 reasons to do so:
When you buy your meat from a reputable butcher, the meat is of much higher quality. First of all the animal will have been raised to the highest welfare standards – a stressed, unhappy animal will not make for good meat. The carcass will have been picked for its quality points and not just to fill the shelves, it may also be a rare or unusual breed that you wouldn’t get in a supermarket due to the fact it couldn’t be supplied in high enough volumes meaning that the meat will probably have a better flavour. The way the meat is further processed also differs greatly between butchers and supermarkets with butchers dry ageing beef to improve flavour and texture whereas a lot of supermarkets will wet age to keep the weight up of the carcass to maximise profit but compromise flavour. Also, the length of the ageing process is often much longer at a good butchers. Butcher’s sausages generally have a higher meat content as well as being available in a much wider variety of flavours than a supermarket. Cheaper chicken breasts sold in supermarkets are often pumped with a water solution to put the weight up and make them look bigger, however once cooked they will shrink. Quality is everything!
The price you pay in a butchers is often cheaper than in a supermarket due to being able to buy the amount or weight of meat you need rather than whatever the supermarket have packaged it at. A lot of butchers will often do regular deals or bulk packs which again, saves you money. It’s worth remembering that you are paying for a superior product and so buying your meat from a butcher is not always going to be cheaper, however if bought from a reputable butcher it will ALWAYS be better value for money and in my experience, the difference, if any, is pence.
The products available from a butchers shop far out-weigh what is available from a supermarket, be it cuts of meat, products made by the butcher or meats the butcher has marinaded or flavoured. Also, talk to your butcher; if they don’t stock a cut you would like they are usually more than happy to get it in for you and you will never get that sort of service from a supermarket.
4. Supporting local business
It’s always good to support a local business and by doing so you are putting money in the pockets of local people and therefore putting money into the local area. Butchers often stock local meat and other sundry items such as sauces or eggs, so by supporting one local business you are actually supporting many. These businesses cannot survive without your support.
A good butchers shop will provide outstanding personal service! If you want your meat prepared in a certain way they are happy to do it, want advice on how to cook it, again happy to help. If you are a regular they will remember how you like things or what you like. I have been a regular at my butcher now for nearly 2 years, I know them by name, they know me by name and we will often have a chat and a joke whilst I’m in there; something you will not get from a supermarket.
These are just 5 reasons to use your butcher, there are so many more! So why not go and buy your Sunday roast joint or a couple of steaks for Friday night this week? Try your local butcher and see the difference in quality and service for yourself! For more information, visit the National Butchers Week website.
*Photos courtesy of The Meat Room LTD