The Taste of Grass – Improving the Flavors of Grass-fed Beef

Local Banquet Spring_15

I have an article in the new, hot off the presses, full of good stuff, spring issue of Vermont’s Local Banquet. Check it out here:

The Taste of Grass: How farmers are improving the flavor of grass-fed beef, with fat

Elsewhere in the magazine: Abenaki agriculture, fully transparent slaughterhouses (oh yes, that means what you think it means), gleaning for restaurants, spring infusions, more.

P.S. If you want to over think the title of the article, read this postscript. . . The question of whether adding fat counts as a flavor “improvement” was, in fact, a question when editing this piece. In case ultra-lean-meat lovers think Carrie wasn’t standing up for their interests. I think it’s an interesting question. The answer is yes, broadly speaking, fat improves flavor. There are some biological reasons why – taste receptors in our mouth do send pleasure signals to our brains when they detect fat. There is research on fat as a sixth taste, signaling something our body wants and needs (in certain amounts) – you can read about one recent study on The Salt blog, here. There are other reasons behind calling a flavor “right” or “wrong” or “better” that I talk about a little in this post. Which is not to say you can’t learn to love a flavor that doesn’t immediately signal pleasure in the way, say, bacon fat does – like in my bitter desserts experiment. Also not to say that you don’t have a personal preference for ultra-lean meat. Anyhow. If this article were a Wikipedia entry, there would be many links.

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