“Prime”, “Choice”, and what po’ people eat, “Select”

4th of July is coming up, and this is the time of the year that everybody starts to grill.

The 4th is the time of the year that I dread because I’m the person wishing I had brought my own food (yea what a d*ck). I say that because I know somebody will decide to buy the frozen beef pucks or the family pack of the leanest, toughest, cheapest, and the lowest USDA grade possible which is Select.

Select is the grade that is most commonly available at most grocery stores, and it’s also the one that demands that you have an ounce of know-how on cooking/grilling. Unfortunately, most can’t grill, and if you cook as though you’re sautéing by constantly flipping the meat, you’re entering the controversial meat flipping argument. So to avoid all that, I suggest moving on up the socioeconomic ladder like George Jefferson (old school reference) to Whole Foods and Sprouts which typically carry Choice, and the latter is where I buy my basic cuts like chuck or steaks from rib-eyes to sirloin.

Although if you really want to eat good, you’ve got to rely on the Japanese markets which carry the highest quality USDA rating, Prime! Prime is the grade only sold or used by high-end restaurants (I should note, some major markets will have Prime available during the holidays), but most Japanese markets from Mitsuwa, Marukai, to Tokyo Central all carry Prime. Most of them will also sell Shelton’s free-range chicken and other equivalent quality meats and seafood from a range of quality suppliers. This is very common amongst Japanese markets because they’re all hell bent on quality. It’s also why I have to live within range of a Japanese market (and you probably thought it was an ethnocentric thing).