How do you spot a porky?

Restaurants and chefs, sometimes they tell lies. There is an alarming trend at the moment to list producers on the menu but not use that producers product, just their cudos. Or to talk about free range, rare breed but buy stock that has come directly from a feed lot. How can any of us tell? Naming and shaming seems to be an out dated and vicious way to go about it, perhaps it is education.

If the consumer really cares, there are many tell tale signs. Muscle texture, size of the beast, flavor. A dorper sheep will have a very different flavor than a feed lot sheep. It will be darker meat and a more intense ‘lamby’ flavor. Pork is almost easy. Take a free range berkshire, the muscle texture is quite defined, there is a greater flavor that bears no resemblance to factory farmed pigs. The same goes for free range and organic poultry, there is far better texture to the meat and the flavor is quite different.

And if you are not sure, grill the waiting staff. Any establishment that is worth its salt and is proud of the provenance of it’s food will have educated their staff. It is very depressing for the farmers to do all the work with their animals, and then all the leg work to get their product into the highly competitive restaurant industry, just to have two orders placed and then their name still appears on the menu, but their product is never ordered again.
It is time that this nasty trend stops, it is not fair on the farmers and it is not fair on the consumer.

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