Saturday, October 6, 2012

German Butcher Shops

As an American, you tend to be a bit overwhelmed by German butcher shops as you enter the first dozen times.

You could probably buy a dozen fresh and different meats each week, and do it for six months before you've tried everything in the butcher display case.  Then you walk over across town to another butcher shop and discover that he's got another thirty-odd meats that you've yet to try out.

So, my tips.  Remember, everything is sold in grams.  A 100 grams tends to be enough for four or five sandwiches.  It's in bad taste to just ask for one or two slices....and you generally go for 100 grams or more when ordering.

All German butchers will offer up a slim sample of something if you just ask.  No, it's not part of the charge.

German butchers generally always slice everything, unless you ask them not to.

Some German butchers will offer a cheese selection although don't expect a giant selection like you'd see at the grocery store.

Your local German butcher will gladly build up a giant party order that you need for that night but don't walk in and do this with one hour to spare.

German butchers take pride in what they do and you will never get "bad" meat.  On the other hand....once sliced and taken home....don't expect that package to stay fresh more than three days.

You don't go to a German butcher for cheap deals.  If you want discounted selections, then go to a real grocery store and pick up the discounted package they have in the refrigerator area.  

Prices already include tax, and are fixed to the scheme of 100 kilograms.  Don't expect the guy to be that proficient in English, so you need to know the words "ein hundred", "zwei hundred", and "drei hundred".    If you are getting 300 (drei hundred), just remember that this is a fair amount of ham or salami....probably way more than you'd want for a week.

There are some German butcher shops which specialize in horse meat.  Pferdemetzgereien are shops that will be identified as such.  They are few of these in any German state.  If you ask a hundred Germans....there might be one out of the group which occasionally use horse meat in a dish.

Finally, after a while, you will feel that your local neighborhood butcher is the more preferred shop....although perhaps not the cheapest.  Most Germans would readily agree on this....wanting quality over cost.

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