One of the reasons I like my stints in Italy is that real butchers still handle meats. Where I reside the rest of the time in California, kids just out of high school handle the meat and fish in supermarkets. I’ve had to wait while the kid re-cut a half-rack of ribs because he saw-cut the ribs in half the first time. We’ve also had to tell them that a dozen clams meant twelve.
If you’re in San Francisco though, you can get in on the latest foodie craze, whole hog butchering, by attending classes by chef-turned-butcher Ryan Farr. Here’s a nice account of such a class: Nice to Meat You
Ryan’s new place, 4505 Meats has a bare skeleton of a site, but it includes Ryan’s Blog which is pretty darn instructive—for the non-squeamish who don’t mind their bone and muscle residing outside the unfriendly confines of a Styrofoam tray. Ryan is also @Chicharrones on twitter.