We have all had those moments or days where you go to the market to get some fresh produce, especially meat but instead struggle to find some because it’s either been sitting around for long periods of time or most of it has been bought already.
Food seems to taste better when you know where it came from and can be sure that it hasn’t been sitting around in a refrigerator or freezer for weeks. That’s why many selective home cooks choose locally sourced meat for their important recipes and dishes. Here are four ways you can find the freshest and most flavourful local meat for your favourite dishes.
Try a Farmer’s Market
Do you know those local markets that are often set up during the early morning hours of the weekends most times along the roadside within your neighbourhood? Well, those markets are often the best way to find fresh produce from all the corners of the country.
Farmer’s markets are ideal for connecting with local farmers, ranchers, bakers, and even crafters. Because there are no intermediaries between you and the supplier, you know where the products were grown or raised and often save money. The downside is that farmer’s markets are often open for limited hours, sometimes just once a week or month. They may only be open in the morning as well. That means last-minute cooks can be left out.
Check for CSAs
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) groups provide weekly or monthly boxes of fresh food to subscribers. While many CSA boxes focus on fruits and vegetables, these organizations sometimes include an option for fresh local meat. Even if the CSAs around you don’t supply meat, they may be able to connect you with local suppliers. In many cases, no one knows more about locally sourced food than an area’s CSA operators.
Visit Local Grocery Stores
Often referred to as supermarkets in Uganda yet they are not. Locally owned grocery stores support your home town’s economy and provide locally sourced products. That shop everyone refers to as mama Joan’s supermarket (meaning grocery store) and has a lot of stuff including fresh fruits and vegetables can be a source of fresh meat.
Most grocery stores include a fresh meat shopping market with choices beyond supermarket chub packs and pre-packaged beef, chicken, and pork from hundreds or thousands of miles away. Additionally, your local grocery store’s fresh meat shopping market probably has an on-site butcher who can handle custom orders, not just a stocker.
Find Local Processors
If hunting is a popular pastime in your area, you may be able to connect with local processors who help hunters turn their prey into usable meat. In some cases, processors keep some of the meat as partial payment for services and sell this meat to the public. For example, check for local deer processors if there is a deer hunting season in your area. Venison from a processor is usually fresher than from a grocery store.
Meanwhile, in African countries like Uganda, when someone is looking to get fresh meat they turn to popularly known abattoirs or slaughterhouses like Lufula which is a great way to find what you’re looking for if you need it still fresh and bloody.
If you aren’t satisfied with the meats available at these places, check with nearby restaurants that are known for serving locally sourced foods. They may be willing to share some of their sourcing secrets. When you want your dishes to taste above average, it’s worth purchasing the best meat you can find. Often, fresh local meat can take your recipes from good to great.
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