The retail meat market has changed a great deal in recent years. With the addition of free-range, organic and other specialty options, customers are greeted with a wider array of choices and prices at their local grocery stores, online retailers and butcher shops. Learning how to find meat shops that sell either gourmet cuts or more modestly priced fresh food options can improve the quality of one's cooking and the healthfulness of their food.
Poultry, beef, pork and chicken are available in a variety of cuts through most food stores, and most carry a selection of what were once considered specialty products like porterhouse steak, prime rib and filet mignon. Chopped sirloin, ground hamburger and strip steaks are also popular cuts of beef that are widely available. If looking for a specific type of meat, calling local shops and inquiring about their prices is a good way starting point. Customers should bear in mind that prices do change rapidly, so only call a few days in advance of a purchase.
Local source poultry and meat items are gaining in popularity. Often, chicken, ducks and other poultry options are available through local farms which may sell directly to consumers or work with local grocery stores for distribution. Such meats are made to be eaten fresh, and therefore should be purchased as close to the time that they will be used as possible. Online reviews will yield information on the qualify of this local meat, as will references from friends.
Not all meats have a short shelf-life. Cured pork options, like prosciutto, or jerky are meant to last, making them ideal for picnics or traveling. By expanding your range of shopping options and trying new recipes, you can sample new types of meat and enjoy the benefits of organic and free-range produce.