I LOVE German butcher shops. I don’t care what anyone says – they are absolutely fantastic. While in Germany with my boyfriend, I took him to a butcher shop. The goal: to buy meat for a picnic.
Inside the family-run shop, thick silver hooks speared meat hanging in glass-door refrigerators. A little chilled, I glanced over our options: a dozen varieties of sausages, rabbit, pork, duck, chicken, and cow. Looking over my grandmother-assigned shopping list I noted the items needed: met (a ground beef/pork/onion mixture eaten raw on bread) and ground beef. The rest was ours to choose.
Raw meat. To eat. Uncooked. To be honest, I absolutely love met. But my boyfriend? A worried crease on his forehead told me exactly what he thought about the whole business.
Tapping my foot to the sound of a hidden employee chopping meat, I wondered if this kind of butcher shop would even be popular in the United States. Meat is often so packaged: perfect, blood-drained, and completely detached from the reality of what it really is: a dead animal. Now, I love eating steaks just as much as the next person. However, having the reality dangling on a silver hook in a storefront is not exactly appetizing. Especially when the ground beef is literally ground right in front of your eyes (as occurred on this occasion).
Anyway, dead carcass or not, I was excited to dig into our spoils. Spreading the met over a butter-covered broettchen, I offered my boyfriend a taste. Taking a smaller-than-usual bite, he chewed thoughtfully and I was delighted to see that his response was positive. Immediately he set about organizing two slices for himself, which were swallowed before they even really existed. Raw or not, it was a delicious meal.
So, I guess the lesson of the story is: even if it looks and sounds completely and utterly disgusting, it might turn out to be absolutely delicious. I should probably make this my mantra for the upcoming months. If the locals eat it, I can eat it too!