Monday, May 7, 2007

If I had only known I could be a Meat Scientist.......

One of the little known gems of UC Davis is the Meat Sciences Laboratory on campus. This facility is used for teaching and research activities, and since they process 600-800 animals per year, they have a lot of extra meat to sell to you and I! As you walk through the door of the non-descript “Cole C Facility” you are blasted with a powerful overhead fan to blow all of the bugs off of you (mainly for people that live with a pride of cats). Look around the small room that is accessible to the public and you will notice a large rack of meat hooks, a small table with a cash register (cash and check only), two doors leading to the guts of the facility (no pun intended), and a lone refrigerator. I imagine it looks very similar to the room in Abu Ghraib where the extraordinary renditions take place that our fearless leader denied knowledge of. You might even witness someone walk through wearing a bloody shirt and rubber boots. Its called ambiance…..Its a far cry from shopping at the Nugget or Whole Foods, the facility itself is not very appetizing, but the high quality meat sure is. The refrigerator contains a random selection of vacuum packed steaks, but most of the meat comes from behind one of the doors. They have a “menu” of what cuts are available and there is someone there to go back and personally see what they have for you. The meat may be fresh or frozen depending on how recently it was harvested. So far I have purchased Hanger Steaks (again, no pun intended) and Ribeyes and they were both excellent quality. I was particularly pleased to find hanger steaks there since they are hard to come by elsewhere. The ribeyes are beautiful, everything I look for in a steak. You can also special order almost anything. I placed an order this week for the very tip of the tenderloin, something else that I can’t find in most stores. Next week I am also picking up some filet to experiment with the French tacos that I may soon be writing about. The only way that the meat lab has let me down is by refusing to sell me blood. Apparently it isn’t fit for human consumption because they cannot harvest it sterily. Acquisition of fresh blood is the only thing that is holding me back from wowing you all with an experimental blood pudding blog. I already blew my cover, but if you want to buy blood try telling them that you are a mosquito or leach researcher
Although I have only been eating their steaks, I hear that they make great sausage as well, I may get around to trying the sausage after my first heart attack.
So why would you buy meat from a shady building on campus rather than a grocery store or butcher? Because like a taco truck, its good quality and quite inexpensive. For instance, ribeyes are $10/lb and tenderloin is $13/lb. This may not sound like an incredible deal, but it is actually a bargain considering the high quality of steaks. They are open Thursday and Friday 1:30-5:30 so you can get your meat fresh for the weekend.

I have to mention that I like my animals more than I like most people but, If God didn't want us to eat animals then why did she make them out of meat?

1 comment:

Garrett said...

Damn, I used to go there all the time!