In a line of recession beating recipes, tripe and trotters are back in the forefront as key ingredients. Celebrity chefs such as Michelin’s Tom Kitchin are fuelling the trend to use all parts of pig, sheep and cattle carcasses. The boom in sales has been spurred on by his nose to tail cooking philosophy and the eastern European immigrants buying power and their love of offal of which many are thought to be delicacies amongst them.
Cheaper cuts that include heart, kidney, tongue, testicles, cheeks and sweetbreads have become popular once again due to the economic downturn. Quality Meat Scotland, a promotion body, shows that offal sales increased to over £13 million last year both domestically and abroad. Just a few years ago the cost to dispose of offal was £2million because no one wanted to purchase them.
It can be quite cost effective and delicious to use unusual cuts of meat and most people do not realize that. Offal not only is a great source of iron, protein and vitamins but also very tasty and an important part of the culinary heritage for the area.
Nose to tail cooking interest has increased dramatically says Chef Kitchin who operates The Kitchin restaurant in Leith. Items on his menu include rolled pig’s head, veal sweetbread, crispy pig’s ear, ox tongue and roasted bone marrow.
He said he is quite passionate about nose to tail cooking and he loves to experiment with maximizing flavours by using different and unusual cuts of meat. When cooked correctly he said offal is an incredibly tasting food, but many people are not familiar with it and tend to shy away. He has noticed that recently his clients seem to be a bit more adventurous and are beginning to show an interest in eating food that may be a bit out of their comfort zone.