3 reasons to buy from a butcher shop

For students in culinary arts programs, it is important to have the best quality and cuts of meat when cooking. Often overlooked in favor of cheaper products at supermarkets, butcher shops offer personality and unique customer service to patrons.

There are several reasons to shop at your local butcher shop that will aid in your culinary experience.

You're talking to an expert in their field
A butcher is a specialist in meat, plain and simple. Every interaction you have will be completely different, as well as personal. Who wouldn't want that? Bring in your idea or recipe and a seasoned butcher will be able to help with every aspect he or she can. 

In addition, butchers are willing to work with customers on price. By telling the butcher your budget, he or she is able to give you multiple ideas that will fit into your price range. Prices can fluctuate depending on the type of meat and the cut a cook will request. If the combination is out of your budget, the butcher can suggest another option that will work for your recipe.

The quality of the meat is better
The butcher can tell you about variations in cut, taste and quality of the meat you're interested in. If you're curious about the origin of what you're buying, the butcher can fill you in. Shops are constantly looking for ethical, humanely raised animals. Not only does this open customers up to some meats that were formerly unavailable, but the taste is noticeably different and better.

You'll find unique cuts (that you'll never find in a supermarket)
Are you looking for lamb necks, marrow bones or kidneys? You'll find all of that at your butcher shop, especially if you give the store a courtesy call beforehand.  Many shops work on a nose-to-tail basis, where no part of the animal goes to waste. A butcher shop is sure to have more of an unusual or specialized variety of meats for the tempted cook to choose from.

Furthermore, you won't be paying for more or less meat than you'll need. No more wondering if the meat in Styrofoam containers from your supermarket will be enough for what you're cooking. The right butcher will make sure you leave the shop with the perfect amount of meat for your recipe, cut the way you like it.

For students who learn to cook online, do a little research to find a local butcher shop nearby. If you're looking for something special, call a day ahead to check if what you want is available and place an order. Finding the right butcher shop is like finding the right mate: try out a couple before you make your final decision!

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