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Farewell to the beloved ‘pork butt’

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From page A2 | May 05, 2013 | 1 Comment

Goodbye, pork butt. Farewell, rump roast.

That name – hilarious to me as a 12-year-old and still worth a chuckle decades later – will be gone this summer, after the National Pork Board and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association recently announced new names for more than 350 cuts of beef and pork.

Seriously. They’re renaming all of our good meat.

Pork butt will now be called Boston roast. Rump roast will be leg sirloin.

Seriously. Who cares that “pork butt” really came from the shoulder and got its name because in the 1800s it was shipped off for the Navy in something called “butt containers?” It’s an awesome name!

A huge number of meats will be changing names – the food equivalent of P. Diddy or Prince.

There will no longer be pork chops, for instance. They’ll be called ribeye chops, porterhouse chops and New York chops.

Seriously. And I’m not sure which of them Peter Brady famously had with applesauce in the Brady Bunch (Season 3, Episode 6: “The Personality Kid”), but it wouldn’t sound nearly as cool in his Humphrey Bogart voice.

“Ribeye chops and applesauce?”

Nah.

The decision came after a two-year study on the issue, according to a Detroit Free Press article.

“The new names will help change the way consumers and retailers talk about pork,” said National Pork Board President Conley Nelson on www.pork.org.

Seriously. A guy said that. There is an organization called the “National Pork Board.” There is a man whose first name is Conley. And there is a website www.pork.org.

All of that is true. Even though calling a pork chop a “porterhouse chop” doesn’t feel true.

We’ve had the names for at least the past 40 years, from when the Uniform Retail Meat Identification Standards were established at a conference where participants sang along to “Tie A Yellow Ribbon (‘Round The Old Oak Tree)” while a guy in a powder-blue tuxedo performed on stage.

Seriously. At least the first part.

And then there’s this: Not only are they changing the names of the meats – and it’s for beef, as well as pork – they’re lowering the safe cooking temperature for whole cuts of meat from 160 degrees to 145 degrees. And they’re recommending following it with a three-minute rest period, which I plan to follow by bringing a towel and taking a quick nap on the kitchen floor.

Seriously. At least the temperature part.

The head of marketing for the National Pork Board said the purpose of the changes was only to help consumers. It’s not, apparently, to make people think they’re buying beef instead of pork.

“With every generation, we lose more of that meat knowledge,” said Patrick Fleming.

Yeah. Despite the fact that all my meat knowledge – since I first laughed at the names pork butt and rump roast – will go out the door with 350 names of meat cuts being changed.

Seriously.

Can’t we call something pork butt?

Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or bstanhope@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope is the Daily Republic's news editor. He began his career at the DR in the last millennium. He spent 17 years as a sports editor and three years as the associate editor before spending three years away from the newspaper (though continuing as a columnist). He returned in December 2010 as news editor. Brad lives in Suisun City with his wife, Mrs. Brad, and two sons. He enjoys cheese.
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  • David RyanMay 05, 2013 - 11:13 am

    At least with the food temperature changes and the rest period, the meat industry is trying to be more gourmet. No one likes an overcooked piece of meat and that rest period allows the juices (OK, fat) to circulate a little. Do the lower temperature and the rest period and you will have more flavor in the meat you serve up (OK, fat).

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