Flying pigs kick off National Butchers' Week

Britain may have come up in the culinary world in recent years, but it also seems that pigs fly if the results of a nationwide survey for National Butchers’ Week are anything to go by.

Of more than 1,000 Britons quizzed ahead of the celebration, which runs throughout this week, three out of 10 adults admitted they thought chicken chops were real, while two out of 10 incorrectly identified wing of pork, leg of liver and lamb drumstick as cuts of meat they could expect to see at their local butcher’s.

Even more surprisingly, the same number (two out of 10) also thought tofu and even tofu ribs were meat-based delicacies.

The astonishing lack of knowledge even extended to real cuts of meat with two out of 10 respondents failing to identify shin of beef as a genuine cut, while one out of 10 refused to believe that calves’ liver was a real dish.

Haggis, faggots, game pie and oxtail also flummoxed at least one in 20 respondents who thought they didn’t contain any meat at all.

Meanwhile, three out of 10 adults had no idea how long it took to cook a chicken, two out of 10 admitted they wouldn’t have a clue how to cook a Sunday roast without consulting a cook book and one out of four incorrectly identified lamb mince, instead of beef, as the main constituent of a traditional cottage pie.

The gap in knowledge between men and women was found to be negligible, with men, if anything, proving to be slightly more knowledgeable overall, even when it came to cooking a chicken or a Sunday roast.

The survey, which exclusively quizzed meat eaters and not a single vegetarian, also found that many Brits are apparently too embarrassed to address their lack of knowledge about meat. Despite the majority of those surveyed agreeing that their local butcher’s was the best place to go for advice on different cuts of meat and how to cook them, one out of seven adults said they were either too scared or embarrassed to ask for help.

More worryingly for Britain’s future culinary heritage, by far the greatest gap in knowledge was found to be among the under-40s, with many displaying little knowhow when it came to cooking meat. More than half of 18- to 24-year-olds said they still hadn’t learned how to cook a Sunday roast.

Now the organisers of National Butchers’ Week are hoping their week-long event, which includes sausage and burger-making lessons in schools, a series of ‘Ask the Expert’ events nationwide and a special www.findabutcher.co.uk website, will help redress the balance.