How to Make Friends and Influence Butchers

Meat is expensive and quality matters, so unless you're a vegetarian you owe it you yourself to be informed. There are countless resources to get educated about your meat but most people don't utilize their best and most obvious resource: your local butcher! Want to know why Boston Butt isn't butt meat? Want to know why sirloin and ribeye taste/are priced differently? Is your meat grass or corn fed? Where does it come from? Just ask your butcher! Know her/his name and remember it, greet them kindly and become someone they look forward to seeing and talking to. Most friendly people like to share what they are good at with others, so if your butcher is being a hard-ass find a new one. My butcher is the greatest, he gives me free fat back when I'm making sausages, he even told me where to find the best hog casings in town. Butchers can be a font of information, you just need to start asking questions. What looks good today? How would you season and cook it? Something to keep in mind, however, is that the price of your protein goes up every time your butcher touches it with a knife so if you don't know how to fabricate it yourself, ask them to show you the first time and start trying it on your own at home. Information is power, so start getting answers from the source and get butch, people!