In which I am caught
So, I went to the butcher’s yesterday and asked them for a whole chunk of pork belly for thịt heo quay–just the meat, no need to prepare it in any special way or anything. I should have known something was up when the butcher looked at me oddly, but I didn’t twig until they asked me “so, what are you going to do with it exactly?”. Then I remembered that the French tend to buy pork belly in little chunks to use as lardons or bacon, and that people wanting a huge uncut chunk of pork belly with the skin on were not exactly common… 
Darn. Last time we moved, it took more than 3 visits to the butcher’s before I got flagged as “that girl who makes the weird recipes with our meat…” 
Current mood: amused
 Bit surprised though, because the neighbourhood is fairly cosmopolitan, and I can’t believe I’m the only one in need of that kind of ingredients on a regular basis…
 It took about a year and a half for my butcher to work out something was up–after repeated requests for minced unsalted pork meat. (again, not so much a French ingredient. At least I assume not, given the reaction)
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Maureen Kincaid speller
My butcher really enjoys barbecue season; I drag in my US barbecue cookbook to show him the picture of the cut of meat I’m looking for this week and we try to figure out what it is in UK-butcherspeak. I bought the book specially because it had pictures; so much easier and he finds it really helpful. The customers, however, find it bizarre that I pull out the cookbook to show him what I want.
Aliette de Bodard
oooh, I hadn’t thought of that. It does sound like a very practical solution. Though, yeah, it’s gotta make other customers go a little goggly-eyed in the queue 🙂
I got a similar reaction from our butcher when asking for a skin-on quarter pork belly. That was a LOT of meat, but it made some of the best bacon I’ve ever had.
hahaha, I know that feeling 🙂 (and yum, pork belly is always good!)