You may not know it, but whenever you think of the fresh, juicy flavor of a sweet corn, you’re really just dreaming of Incredible Corn. And this Washington State staple is available at all Tacoma Boys and H & L Produce locations. (more…)
As one of the leading specialty food stores, Tacoma Boys operates at the crossroads of quality and value to enable the home chef to craft delicious cuisines.
You might buy branded, everyday items in bulk at a discount store. But when it comes to your produce? You should always shop fresh and locally. Fresh is best. Read on to learn more about how getting the freshest possible ingredients can upgrade even the most basic meal.
When you search for a “butcher near Tacoma,” do you consider the different services they may offer, and ways they cut and season the meat? Here are 5 things a butcher can do to improve your meat market experience.
A recent USDA study found that pre-packaged meat (the stuff on Styrofoam, wrapped in plastic) had over 211 different drug residues. Why? Because those meats are sourced from “factory farms”.
So, if you’re not interested in eating meat with residual antibiotics and hormones, then it’s time to visit your local butcher!
Sourcing meat from a local butcher near Tacoma is an easy and sustainable way to incorporate organic meats into your meals.
Read on for the 5 things you didn’t know you could ask your Tacoma butcher.
1. They Cut and Tenderize for You
Some cuts or dishes require special equipment (like a bone saw). If you don’t have one of those in the depths of your pantry, there’s no need to fret.
Just ask your butcher to cut or tenderize the meat for you.
They’ve got the necessary equipment and space. Plus, it’ll save you a load of prep time once you get home.
2. They Season Your Meat for You
Who better to season the meat than a person who works with meat for a living?
At Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce we have our own brand of rubs and sauces that perfectly pair with the cut you’re looking for. Most butchers have their favorites for beef, pork and chicken.
All you have to do is ask, and prior to the packaging, the butcher can season the meat to perfection.
Now that the meat is cut and seasoned, it just leaves the cooking to you! All you have to do is gather your ingredients and recipe to get dinner going.
3. Your Butcher Near Tacoma Can Special Order
Are you looking for something a little out of the norm? Maybe a goose or a turducken (that would be a chicken inside a duck, inside a turkey)?
Ask the butcher! They can work miracles behind the meat counter.
They may not have what you want on hand, but if you give them a few days’ notice, they can most likely order it for you!
If you’re short on time, you can always give one of our stores a call and the meat department will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
4. They can Teach You a Thing or Two
Some people avoid the butcher counter because they don’t know what kind of meat to ask for or what to do with it once they get it home. If that sounds like you, it’s okay! Just tell the butcher.
It’s actually a lot of fun for us if you have no idea what you’re looking for. It’s like giving an artist a blank canvas and letting them create a masterpiece. The butcher might ask you some questions like:
- Which cuisines you typically enjoy?
- What type of dish you’re looking to cook?
- What’s your skill level?
The butcher can then offer suggestions as and instructions on the best way to prepare the cut.
The average American consumes about 200 lbs. of meat each year. So, you might as well learn how to shop for it, and cook it well!
5. Your Butcher Can Help You be Environmentally Friendly
Last but not least, a butcher near Tacoma can help you source your meat sustainably. They know that purchasing an entire animal from a local and reputable farmer is the best way to guarantee that the meat is a high quality and doesn’t get wasted.
If you don’t live with 12 other people, then buying a whole cow or pig is unrealistic. One option is to find a group of friends who are interested and having a butcher divide, package, and prepare the animal into equal parts for the whole group.
You’ll have fresh, frozen, meat for an entire year!
Now Try it Out!
At Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, we are proud to be an amazing option when looking for a Butcher near Tacoma. Not only do we offer an amazing meat section, but thousands of labels of beer and wine, fresh produce, and amazing specialty food items. Not to mention our ceramic pottery, floral and planting options.
Come and visit one of our expertly trained butchers, and embrace what Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce are proud to offer the greater Tacoma area. You’ll never find our meats under plastic or on Styrofoam plates. Our all-natural deli case meats are fresh, organic and hand wrapped, just like in the old days.
Read Next: 5 Easy Meals You Can Make in Minutes
Looking for where to buy high quality, local seafood? Tacoma Boys and H&L produce are great options. Freshness and quality have been our priorities from the start, and we have learned a lot about seafood over the years. Read on and we’ll go over how to identify some of the best local seafood Tacoma has to offer.
Everyone loves a quality meal, but sometimes finding great protein options at a reasonable price can be difficult. This is definitely true in the case of seafood, where prices seem to be continually rising over time. We can’t let that stop us though – here in the Pacific Northwest seafood is always on the menu.
Finding quality seafood in Tacoma, at a good price doesn’t have to be an impossible challenge, especially if you look locally. Tacoma has some amazing places where you can find various fish, shrimp, and lobster for prices that won’t break the bank. Being on the west coast allows us to access to some of the freshest and most affordable seafood in the country. You just need to know how to identify high-quality seafood.
When purchasing seafood in Tacoma, remember to ask questions and be curious about where the seafood is from and how fresh it is. The key to finding quality product oftentimes is dependent on your willingness to ask a few simple questions.
Asking these questions can help you avoid seafood that’s far from fresh.
- Was it caught wild or farm raised?
- When and where was it processed?
- Was it previously frozen?
- When did the product arrive?
- How many days of shelf life does it have?
Use Your Senses
Before you look at the seafood, glance around the store overall. Make sure where you’re shopping is neat and organized. Countertops should be clean and fresh fish should always be stored on a bed of ice or in a refrigerated case. If the store doesn’t pass this initial cleanliness test, don’t buy seafood there.
Normally, you can ask seafood providers to smell and handle many products before purchasing. This close inspection can tell you a lot about the quality of the seafood.
Fresh seafood should have very little smell, if any at all. If there is a scent to the product, it should be of the ocean. You should not purchase any seafood that that smell sour or has traces of ammonia. Ammonia is caused by natural oils in fish and other seafood breaking down, and it cannot be cooked out by high heat.
Outside of the smell, you should also check the firmness of the fish. Whether the product in question is filleted or whole, it should have a springy, firm feeling. When touched, the flesh of a fresh fish should “bounce” back and no impressions from your finger should remain to be seen.
It’s normal for fish eyes to bulge a little, but the flesh should be shiny and gills should be bright red. Delicate fish, such as salmon, should be visually free of any bruises, breaks or tears. These marks are usually indicative of poor handling.
When it comes to shellfish, the above tips still apply. Shellfish shouldn’t smell like anything other than the ocean, and asking questions is pertinent. What makes shellfish more of a challenge to shop for is that you should always try to buy them from a fresh seafood market where they are kept alive until you purchase them. Frozen options pale in comparison in regards to quality and flavor. The small prepping window for shellfish is key for optimum freshness.
At Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, the clams and oysters you take home will be alive. We bring them in alive, responsibly sourced, to ensure they’re always fresh. For your visual scan of shellfish, their shells should be free of cracks or holes, and they should have a ‘lively’ appearance and activity to indicate good health. Fun tip: You can test the health of the live clams and oysters by tapping their shell to see if they close up.
The Best Seafood Tacoma Has to Offer
If you’re traveling through the Pacific Northwest, you can’t be blamed for having a hankering for seafood. We love it locally, too! We stock nearly 100 different seafood and shellfish varieties. For those seeking quality seafood Tacoma Boys has the best and freshest selection you could ask for. The above tips are guaranteed to help you find local, fresh seafood for a price that you can feel happy with.
Looking to make a quality meal? Come and visit one of our store locations for fresh produce and organics you can use for your side dishes. Whether you stop by Tacoma Boys or H&L produce in Lakewood, our team is always happy to answer any questions you may have about selecting and cooking your delicious, fresh seafood.
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