Thursday, December 3, 2015
Miscellaneous: The Meat Identification Kit
I bought an egg separator for only a dollar, simply because I liked its coiled design. It looks like something Alexander Calder might have twisted out of wire. My special find, however, was the "Natural Color Meat Identification Kit" that I found sitting on top of a stack of cookbooks. At first I laughed. The idea seemed absurd--a field guide to meat. Initially I was drawn to it because it seemed such an unlikely thing for anyone to have created.
revised version of the kit, with more than 100 cards. The one I found appears to be the original issue. I found a couple of expired Etsy listings from 2009 offering single cards from the set for sale. I found a mention of the kit as a reference source on a curriculum sheet for a meat grading class from Chico State University of uncertain date. The University Libraries at Virginia Tech publish a History of Food and Drink Collection Blog that mentions the Identification Kit in a number of posts and calls it a staff favorite. (This also appears to refer to a later edition with more than 100 cards.) David Letterman got a hold of one of these kits and used it in at least two shows to do a segment entitled "Know Your Cuts of Meat." The first apparently aired on CBS on March 24, 1999, the second on April 9, 1999. I haven't seen these episodes, but it's easy to imagine Letterman making fun of the kit. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who might know more about The Natural Color Meat Identification Kit.
Now, the question is, what am I going to do with this curiosity? I mean after I've finished learning my meats.