Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The death of the family butcher.

Prepare yourself for a profanity-filled post from an extremely angry black man. I spent about an hour yesterday trolling the East Village for some ground lamb, but came home empty-handed. I headed straight for Kurowycky Meat Products (see piccie) on 1st Avenue, the 52-year-old Ukrainian East Village butcher that made peerless sausage and ham only to find that the place has closed down due to rising rents. WTF!?!

Dejected, I head to the East Village Meat Market (139 2nd Ave). I have never before in my life seen such a sad collection of meats in my entire life. The 'butcher' (I use the term loosely) there was the rudest person I've ever met in my entire life. He snorted 'What do you want?' as I walked up to the counter, then proceeded to tell me that he had no ground lamb. I asked him if he had any lamb & he showed me three hunks of disgusting looking meat. Short on time & in a bind I asked him if he could grind some for me... Guess what - 'No, we just cleaned the grinder & are about to close'. I did a double-take & asked him if he was serious, 'As a heart attack' he says.

I live in the East Village, one of the 'cooler' neighborhoods in NYC, how hard should it be to get some fucking ground lamb? Obviously, I could have just gone to Whole Foods, but fuck that; I'd rather support smaller shops than give a penny to them. In a time of Happy Meal-filled obese children, KFC 'family' dinners, etc. it disgusts me how an institution like Kurowycky can go under while other, far inferior, butchers stay open to serve up horrible meat.

What ever happened to the family butcher? That nice old guy you saw once a week to pick up meat for your family meal. He would let you know what was fresh, special order items for you & was skilled in his craft. My dad told me stories of his time as an NYC bachelor. He had his local butcher & a locker there. He would buy a side of dry aged meat & go in from time to time to have the butcher carve it up, as & when needed. Those days are long gone & that pisses me off to no end.

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