Here’s looking at you, kid — I mean piglet.
Organ meats, also known as offal or by the more all-inclusive category of variety meats, form a perpetual topic of conversation among food fanciers. Some love ’em. Some hate ’em. But no one is completely indifferent. Many chefs have fooled around with organs, and they know where to get even the most obscure ones (like Casa Mono’s cock’s comb), but do you know where to buy variety meats if you want to experiment yourself?
Sure, you can get great chicken livers at Citarella in the Village, goat heads at Esposito’s in Hell’s Kitchen, tripe of several sorts at Michael’s Prime Meats in Flatbush, and a shifting catalog of organs at boutique butchers like Brooklyn’s Meat Hook or Chelsea’s Dickson Farmstand. But what market has the largest, most certain, and cheapest supply? The answer is Western Beef. This discount meat store boasts branches in all five boroughs, Jersey, Long Island, and even Florida, and the prices are mind-bogglingly cheap.
Here’s a pictorial catalog of the organs I encountered in their humongous cold room on West 16th Street yesterday.
Pretty little pig feet, all in a row.
Zut! Zut! Turkey butt!
They’ve got chicken hearts …
… and chicken livers.
Blood sausage reminds us that blood is an organ, too.
Pig ears are always willing to listen to your problems …
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 3, 2011