Leave the Head On

I’m starting to understand the French fuss about buying poultry with head, feet and a patch of feathers.  It’s similar to why they seem to prefer to buy their rabbit with head.  I imagine it’s so they can rest assured that they are getting what’s advertised and what they want.  No one wants to buy a guinea fowl that’s actually a fat chicken, or a rabbit that’s a squirrel.   Feet, head, feathers and bones identify the meat and alleviates any chance of the old  “okie doke”  🙂

So what’s this new practice in both of the larger supermarkets in Honesdale of selling only boneless cuts of beef that are labeled as steaks that I used to know?  Most of these cuts in the past were sold with the bone and could be readily identified; T-bone, porterhouse, rib steak.  What’s up?  And why are most of the beef products now labeled Angus?  Has a vicious virus decimated the rest of the beef cattle?  What percentage of DNA does a beef cow have to have in order to be labeled “Angus” by the USDA?  Betcha it’s not 100% and would be surprised if it was even 50%.  I think they just have to be black 😀

Anyway.  After a huddled and whispered conversation with another customer at Weiss Supermarket, I decided I didn’t like mysteries about my meat, turned in my empty shopping cart and went to the Alpine butcher who still sells meat with bones and has his own source of regular beef cows, purchased locally as carcasses, headless but recognizable. I bought a couple of porterhouse steaks, 2 packages of smoked pork chops and 2 gorgeous light rose colored veal chops.  They all had bones.

To be open minded, it could be that the new generation of consumers have lost or never learned the art of using a knife with a fork to cut around the bones and therefore prefer the boneless cuts.  Okay, times change.

Still, I’m not taking any chances 😀  There’s something wrong with my grill.  The flame is not coming out very strong.  I think we need to replace a part when my husband comes back from walkabout in Mali.


About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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6 Responses to Leave the Head On

  1. Pingback: Leave the Head On | O LADO ESCURO DA LUA

  2. Mad Dog says:

    I’m with you 100%. I want the head and offal for stock, I don’t want to have to buy it in addition to a chicken. When they remove my giblets I feel cheated. In Spain there is an expression dating back to starvation during the civil war – vender gato por liebre, meaning to sell cat as hare. These days it means that something is a bad deal and I believe that it’s obligatory to sell rabbit and hare with the head on, to prove that they are not cats!

  3. Laura says:

    Your meal looks lovely, bone and all. I hope Jessie liked it!!

  4. Cecile says:

    I’m so out of touch with all my favorite food bloggers…. I’ve been working, working and working first on getting the house ready to sell – and now I have only one day left (tomorrow) to get everything ready for the movers on Friday. I bet it’ll end up like it was when I left Malta… on three hours sleep..
    I may have told you before how, in Malta, rabbit is sold with the head on. And served in the restaurants with the head.. which has been separated from the body. My friend told me it was so people could be sure they weren’t eating cat. Exactly what Mad Dog said!!
    I’m impressed with how careful you are about the quality of what you purchase. I hope all is well and that hubby comes make tan and happy from his walkabout – that lucky guy!! : o )

  5. I never knew that about the heads! We buy our beef from a local rancher who raises very few every year, so I know for sure I’m definitely getting a pasture-raised cow!

  6. chefkreso says:

    Such simplicity and so many flavours 🙂

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