Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Have a butchers at this!

It's an independent butcher shop, which is one of three butchers in Bury St Edmunds town centre. The shocking news is that I haven't been in any of them until today and I've lived here for about four and a half years.

In fact, with the exception of the odd farmers market visit, I haven't been into any independent butcher shop ever since leaving my home town in Wales...22 years ago, when I left for the big city and went off to do my degree.

I don't think I am unusual in this. What's put me off until now is the simple fact that I don't know what to ask for. How daft is that!

You see, there is always the back-up option of picking up what I need at the supermarket, where no conversation is needed. I can just pick up the packet and, without revealing any holes in my knowledge of meat cuts, I can simply head off to the check-out to pay the bill.

It's only recently that I've developed even the smallest understanding of weight measurements which can be a tricky element in itself.

So today, with the benefit of reinforcements (my mum and small son in tow) and the need to get some ham for sandwiches...I went on an adventure to the butchers.

The good news is that I wasn't eaten alive, nor embarrassed and came out with what I wanted. (The butcher even wrapped the ham in paper, which I think I can wash and then compost).

It was the same feeling that I get when shopping in France, when using my best French, although not as an exciting experience by comparison.

Anyway, here's a date for your diary...

10 - 16 March is National Butchers' Week, the objective of which is to encourage shoppers to use their local butcher as their first port of call and to make use of the butcher's expertise in choice of cuts as well as cooking meat.

It's great that it coincides with St Edmundsbury's Zero Waste Week. That means there should be little excuse not to use the butchers, even if it is for one week only. I know I'll be going back again, but I won't be waiting for the awareness weeks. I might just drop in during my next visit to the market.


Anonymous said...

I too have been a chicken about going to a butcher shop or even being willing to go up to the grocery store butcher. I really don't know much about meat, cuts, fat content etc etc and I've been hesitant to let my ignorance be known.



Almost Mrs Average said...

Thank you N...for coming out of the woodwork and standing side by side in admission of butchery ignorance.

Is there anyone else out there who wants to put their hand up?

Anonymous said...

Hi, the good thing about using the butcher is that, if its a good one, they have that specialist knowledge and you can pick their brains and benefit from that. Its that level of personal service, which at first might seem a bit intimidating to those used to simply picking up a packet, which really sets them apart on the high street. You don't need to be an expert on meat to use your local butcher!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Cheers Ed - that's definitely something worth reinforcing. Thanks for popping by.

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