Thoughts have a taste

Good taste and nice thoughts

FRANKFURT food becomes a pleasure when two things come together: the taste on the palate and positive images in the head. When it comes to meat, the choice of place to buy decides on both.

Meat taste, as assessed in a blind tasting, is created according to simple and easy to learn rules: Most people - and everyone, if they don't see the fat - tastes better than lean meat. The meat of females or castrated animals has more flavor and is better than that of males. So much for the similarities.

The first differences arise because we prioritize meat taste and tenderness differently. Meat taste is what we can perceive in meat in its original form - i.e. grilled without salt and spices. Furthermore, certain pork breeds (Duroc, Buntes Bentheimer, Swabian Hällisches Schwein and others) carry a particularly large amount of meat flavor. And we know beef cattle breeds whose aroma is praised - mostly because these cattle have a lot of marbling, i.e. fat in the meat. Meat taste is also positively influenced if the meat comes from slowly fattened animals. The feed also affects the taste of the meat.

Water out - taste intensified

Meat ripening, for example, influences the taste of the meat and tenderness: on the one hand, the following formula applies to vacuum ripening and dry aging: "Water goes out, taste becomes even more concentrated." On the other hand, the ripening process creates the desired tenderness in the muscle fibers.

When meat lovers praise the taste of pasture cattle or straw pigs, a first mix of what can be perceived by the senses and the mental connections to the form of husbandry is created. Anyone who says grazing cattle automatically thinks of green meadows where cows graze with their calves. The beautiful images that arise in the head of “Weiderind” influence our sense of taste. Because we think the free-range cattle are “happy”, so are we when we eat the free-range beef.

Stress hormones can be detected in meat

The full, affluent people taste best what is good for nature with all living beings and the climate. This fact drives us to sustainably good quality. We do something good for ourselves with good meat. Prof. Dr. Ludwig Kotter, master butcher and veterinarian. In one of his works he described that stress hormones released by the animal before slaughter can be detected in the meat. The context can, with a bit of pathos, be formulated as follows: good meat, good people, good world.

The fact that thinking people are driven towards good is evident when choosing a place to shop. Knowing well that the pure nutritional and taste value as well as the harmlessness to health can also be found on the discounter shelf, these consumers do not shop there. Butchers specialty shops that work in a local rural-artisanal system benefit from this. Let's look at which factors are good for animals and the environment and at the same time promote the quality and enjoyment of meat.
There is meat with a lot of flavor and great tenderness from North and South America. But questions remain unanswered: What about hormone treatment? How about the carbon footprint? The local origin, where the farm is a few kilometers away from the butcher, is the superior offer. In the rural-artisanal system, it is not only cattle and pigs that have good origins. The butchers and sales force also live in the customers' region and feed their families with their work here. Pasture can be tasted and seen, the latter especially in the dark yellow fat. But it takes sensory experience to grasp the pasture on the palate with the same breed of cattle or pig and the same length of fattening time. We like grazing above all because it is the most beautiful and natural agricultural production principle: grass is turned into milk and meat. In the same context, we do not want the livestock to be fed what the people living there need for their own food in the country of origin of the feed. On the other hand, the global cycle of goods with their negative social and ecological effects does not seem very appetizing. Meat tastes best to us when the farmer who supplies the butcher grows most of the feed himself. If, for example, soy from Brazil is replaced with GMO-free from the Danube region or with local legumes, this also promotes the enjoyment value of the meat. Then the master butcher is responsible for the meat without any ifs or buts - this personal guarantee also includes the slaughter, cutting, maturing and further processing of the meat. So if meat and sausage from the specialist shop taste particularly good, it is also because our need for security is satisfied as well as possible here.

Thinking about these connections creates great satisfaction.
Source: afz - general butcher newspaper 36/2020