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“Rock Star” Butchers

Whether they’re all as rock-star cool as these guys the NY Times is salivating over or not, it would be nice to see a true revival of the butcher’s trade, and especially the local butcher shop. Saveur magazine last year cited U.S. Department of Labor statistics showing that nearly two-thirds of America’s 122,830 butchers were employed in supermarkets, where the meat often arrives already semi-broken down in vacuum-sealed bags.

In our old neighborhood in Brooklyn (Cobble Hill), there were two great old-school butcher shops, up-scale Staubitz, and my regular place, the high-quality but more wallet-friendly Paisanos, where they made, seriously, the most sublime chicken sausage I’ve ever tasted, intensely flavored with Parmigiano and basil. One thing that always struck me as, well, just interesting I guess, is how sweet and kind the guys with the big blades were, especially compared to the frequently tetchy hawkers of produce.

It’s amazing to me that here in Burlington, VT, with all our interest in local food products, we do not currenty have a dedicated butcher shop, something along the lines of Fleisher’s in Kingston, NY. Here, in a video that the Times piece also links to, is one of the story’s featured butchers, Adam Tiberio, doing his thing. Vegan readers may want to excuse themselves at this point. The rest of you, enjoy.

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