So, as of this moment, I still have not seen my appearance on Jamie Oliver’s show about the US. But now I have seen a couple of clips from it, thanks to Eat Me Daily.
“Scary inner workings” of the halal butcher? Maybe I’m in too deep, and way too used to going there, but…it’s not that scary.
Perhaps it is not the gleaming vision of stainless steel and bright white tile in which people fantasize their meat is being slaughtered. But nowhere is. And certainly not a Midwestern meat packer that supplies your supermarket.
No, it is not photogenic. But it is not a filthy place. And I (and thousands of others) have happily bought meat there and served it to other people. And they’ve all said, “Mmmm, delicious! This chicken tastes so good!” And they didn’t die.
I wonder if Raphael’s disgust at watching this clip came not so much from the seemingly unsanitary setting, but from the proximity of live animals to dead ones. This is not something we see often in the US. Only in the last decade or so have food magazines begun to show live, gamboling lambs on one page, then a plated rack of lamb on the next–and that was a huge, contentious step when Saveur took it.
And it’s not like I am naturally all tough and jaded and carnivorous. The first time I bought a chicken there, in 2002 or so, I had to say, “Can I do this?” to myself. And still every time I go to that butcher, I have a momentary twinge.
But if I’m going to continue to eat meat, I figure it’s the honest, upfront thing to do: look that animal in the eye. And then go home and cook every last scrap of it into something really delicious. And serve it to people you love.
Anyone curious about this place? I am happy to answer any questions, or even take people there on a tour. Seriously, I love it, and I think it’s one of the best sources of well-taken-care-of meat in the city.