[LMB] OT: what a nice gift....

A. Marina Fournier saffronrose at me.com
Mon Aug 8 01:25:41 BST 2016

On Aug 7, 2016, at 5:37 AM, James M. BRYANT G4CLF <james at jbryant.eu> wrote:
> Marina observes that on Orkney:-
> >...some of the sheep eat seaweed.
> And she wonders what that does to the flavor of the meat.
> Wonderful - but it's tough unless it's cooked properly.

That is often true for certain cuts, and for older animals.

> My butcher used to sell Orkney mutton (4-7 year old wool sheep, not lamb) and it was as tough as old boots if undercooked. But put it in very slow cooked dishes like kleftiko or dum channa gosht and the heather/seaweed mutton flavour of the now tender meat (after 6-10 hours in the slow cooker) is exquisite.

I'm impressed with your butcher! There's a German meats store where Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Los Altos borders mix, and they offer meats & salumi, not all German, I'd never heard of. Of course, I took the list, looking them uo once I was home. It also improved my food vocabulary in a couple of languages.

In general, in the US, getting mutton for stew, especially in cities, is damned near impossible. Lamb stew meat is just too young, and travelling to Gallup, near several Native communities, or to Bakersfield or Fresno* even, a bit expensive for a pot of stew. Goat, while tasty, is not anywhere near it.

I should see if one of the larger carnicerias carry, or can get it. None of the family-owned Italian small grocery chains carry it, and the butcher I spoke with had no idea where he could get any.

I don't tend to buy plastic-wrapped animal flesh these days, and there are Hispanic and Asian markets, including one combo, in the Bay Area, and even in San Jose itself with Real Butchers, in addition to the Italian-family-owned chains who have them. 

The Asian groceries have the most extensive array of fish & seafood--often still alive in tanks, that it is a joy to just wander along the counter. In my local IFO grocery, the produce department is olfactory bliss. I don't recall if they have the misters for the vegetables, but if they do, they're not the kind with recordings of thunder to warn you that the mist is about to fall. I think they're fun.

*Bakersfield has the largest number of Basque speakers outside of the Basque areas along the France/Spain border. A lot of sheep is grown there: herders were hired, and then came their families. The Basque language has some of the cadence patterns found in French and in Spanish, but the phonemes are nothing like.

Fresno has the largest Armenian-speaking (and non-AS Armenians) communities outside of Armenia and adjacent areas where Armenians live. 

So you know where to find those cuisines in California. I prefer the seasoning of Lebanon and Syria first, then Armenian, Greek, Turkish, and Persian in that order, when preparing essentially the same dish. I also like coastal North African food in no particular order, but most African immigrants sround here are from NE Africa, and aside from the Ethiopian community here, none seem to open restaurants.

Where's that device of Markus's now??? I'm hungry, my husband is cooking dinner, and the seasoning is not likely that interesting.

A. Marina Fournier
Saffronrose at me.com
You may very well think so, but I couldn't possibly comment.

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