We happen to be extremely lucky in this part of the world. Not only is this shop very close to actual grazing cattle near the heart of a thriving city, we also get some amazing opportunities.
A few months ago I was asked if I'd be interested in taking on some rare breed pork from 'Bill Quay'. This is a city farm based in Gateshead. Once a month we get some fabulous Tamworth pork from there. Tamworth is quite a rare breed of pork and this led to customers asking lots of questions about what was special about rare breeds. Now as usual in this industry, it is never an easy answer. The quick and easy version is that Tamworth pork has a smaller eye of the meat (which can mean it is sweeter) and there is a higher fat content. Some people would be absolutely thrilled about the extra fat, however others would be less pleased. I have to admit I am of the former rather than the latter, however, I'm certainly not here to judge, I'm here to make sure you leave with what you want. The pork we usually sell is Landrace or Duroc which is perfectly delicious too by the way! And it is really consistent and tastes divine.
This begs more questions about rare breeds. What even is a rare breed? Is it one that is hard to breed? Is it one that is expensive to breed? Or is it just a bit crap so we don't want to eat it any more? The truth of the matter is, it totally depends on the specific situation. Helpful? Absolutely not. Being a butcher is a bit like being on a food journey that never ends and more and more questions need to be addressed. But as with lots of things, the more you explore the industry the more questions crop up.
It's all getting a bit esoteric; I'm really just wanting something tasty for dinner. However, when it comes to breeds of animals, I don't have favourites as such but I do relish the variety. I think it's pretty cool that we have a choice.