Nothing to beef about!

Local butcher Neil Wilcock.
Local butcher Neil Wilcock.
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DO you know your rump from your brisket? Your topside from your skirt?

No? Then your local butcher can help.

Because butchers agree locally with reports circulating this week that many people are put off going into butchers’ shops because they know so little about meat.

But they insisted that traditional butchers are not intimidating – rather that they are only too happy to help.

Neil Wilcock, a local butcher for nearly 30 years, said: “Many people don’t know the first thing about meat if it’s not in a neat package.

“Young people, in particular, don’t know the first thing about the different cuts of meat. We still get carcasses into the shop and I know lots of kids who can’t tell a pig from a cow! Some adults too.”

Mr Wilcock, who trades in Dewsbury market three times a week, said most of his customers were long-time regulars.

“Fewer people are coming to the shop,” he said. “We are hanging on to our regulars, but it is hard to attract newcomers. Shopping habits have changed so much.”

Mr Wilcock said local shops scored over supermarkets in various ways: “I can give a customer exactly what they ask for,” he said. “I can advise and, in the main, we are cheaper.”

Phil Bennett of Bennett’s in Foundry Street said: “It’s true. Some people, mainly younger ones, know very little about cuts of meat. Older people know more because knowledge was passed on through their parents.

“These days, people tend to want something that’s easy, but if they shop with us on a regular basis they get more adventurous. We are always happy to advise. Just take that first step and have a go. And customers often find the cuts they buy are much easier to cook than they thought.”

Mr Bennett also said his shop has lots of repeat business, but sees attracting newcomers as more of a problem.