Words of wisdom from Dario Checcini, the famous Tuscan butcher:
“The most important thing is what the animal eats and that it has a good life . . . just like us,” Cecchini says. “My philosophy is that the cow has to have had a really good life with the least suffering possible,” he says. “And every cut has to be cooked using the best cooking method. It’s a matter of respect. If I come back as a cow, I want to have the best butcher.
On a related note, I’ve been really enjoying The River Cottage Meat Book, bu Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. It’s so much more than a cookbook: Fearnley-Whittingstall takes you behind the scenes of a small family farm, so that you see how, exactly, cattle, pigs and other animals are raised, slaughtered and eaten. (For instance, there are graphic pictures of a cow being killed with a bolt gun.) The book is filled with long digressions into the ethics of veal, the intelligence of pigs and the science of the bovine diet. The one caveat is that readers really shouldn’t attempt to recreate most of his pork recipes, which weren’t designed for the lean, tasteless white meat we call pork in America.