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Foot in mouth
6 February 2012. Bowdu chomps on a chicken’s foot.

One convenience of California living is 99 Ranch Market, an Asian American supermarket chain that specializes in imported brands, ethnic meats, and produce that one might have difficulty finding elsewhere. I think of it as Chinatown Lite for consumers who prefer to shop for their ethnic goods in less cramped, more hygienic, and better lit quarters. At 99 Ranch, you get variety without the typical street market stench, and all items have the advantage of being clearly labeled and priced — though you still have to keep an eye on expiration dates. Since these supermarkets are usually part of a large strip mall, parking is more convenient than Chinatown, where one often has to jockey for space alongside tourists and urban workers sharing the same vertical space.

On weekends, one must still be prepared to play a mean game of bumper grocery carts with some vicious and competitive shoppers… But at least a well-trafficked supermarket means that items are (presumably) turned over and replenished quickly, which I’ve not always been able to say of Chinatown mystery meats.

Vegetarian readers may want to skip this post, because it’s all about MEAT — in particular, the cuts of meat that might not be as readily available in your average grocery store, with an eye towards raw feeding. 99 Ranch stocks a number of parts that I would hesitate to cook with, but am willing to incorporate into my dogs’ diets.

This post is also my record of the cost of some meats at a reasonably-priced grocery store in the SF Bay Area. Many items can be found elsewhere for cheaper (chicken and beef can be cheaper on sale at other grocery stores, and “real” Chinatown butchers can beat a lot of these prices, too). Nor is this the best quality or most humanely farmed and raised meat. The prices here are relatively modest for what you get though. Plus, there’s the convenience of all of this in one location.

Items displayed as a slideshow for layout purposes:

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And a list beneath the cut. Prices from 11 February 2012.

Pork:
Pork blood (cooked), $3.69 / pound **
Pork brain, $3.29/pound
Pork tongue, $2.99 / pound
Pork uterus, $3.69
Pork melt (spleen), $1.79
Pork heart, $2.39/pound **
Pork bung (rectum), $2.99/pound
Pork ear, $2.99 / pound **
Pork snout, $1.99 / pound
Pork tocino (fatback), $3.79 / pound
Pork kidney, $2.59 / pound
Pork marrow guts, $2.99 / pound
Pork liver, $1.39 / pound
Pork stomach, $2.49 / pound **
Pork feet, $1.69 / pound
Pork hind feet, $1.99 / pound
Pork hock, sliced, $1.89 / pound **
Pork hock, $2.19 / pound
Pork bellies, $3.69 / pound
Pork spare ribs, $3.29 / pound
Pork tail bone, $1.99 / pound **
Pork neck bone, $2.19 / pound **
Pork skin, ?

Poultry:
Chicken drumettes, $2.99 / pound
Chicken bone, $0.99 / pound **
Chicken wings, $2.99 / pound **
Chicken feet, $1.59 / pound **
Chicken drumsticks, $1.89 / pound **
Chicken wings, $2.99 / pound **
Chicken thighs (w/ bone, skin), $1.89 / pound **
Chicken thigh meat (boneless, skinless), $2.29 / pound
Chicken heart, $2.39 / pound **
Chicken gizzards, $2.39 / pound **
Chicken liver, $2.39 / pound **
Whole black silky chicken, $9.99 / pound
Stewing chicken, $1.79 / pound **
Whole chicken, $3.99 / pound **

Duck wings, $1.69 / pound **
Duck gizzards, $3.39 / pound **
Whole duck, $2.99 / pound

Beef: [I didn’t pay close attention to beef prices because the Bows don’t eat beef, and I usually get beef for the humans elsewhere]
Beef oxtail, $5.99 / pound
Beef tongue, $4.39 / pound
Beef finger meat, $4.99 / pound
Beef feet, $1.99 / pound
Beef honey comb tripe [from reticulum], $2.69 / pound
Beef tendon, $3.99 / pound
Beef liver, $1.69 / pound
Beef chuck rib, bone-in, $2.99 / pound
Beef book tripe [from omasum], $3.99 / pound

Seafood:
Mix fish bone (mostly salmon), $2.19 / pound **
Fresh catfish, $2.99 / pound
Salmon jaws, $3.49 / pound
White perch, $2.49 / pound
Dover sole, $2.19 / pound
Chuckle cod, $4.99 / pound
Fresh fish head, $1.99 / pound
Fresh salmon head, $2.19 / pound
Sardines (frozen), $1.99 / pound **
Pike mackerel (frozen), $1.99 / pound **
Frog legs (frozen), $4.99 / pound
Cigar minnow (frozen), $1.99 / pound
Smelt (frozen), $2.69 / pound **
Silver fish (frozen), $2.49 / 8 oz. pack
Small octopus (frozen), $3.99 / pound
Baby octopus (frozen), $7.99 / 2 pound bag

Frozen poultry:
Pheasant (frozen), $7.99 / pound
Whole chicken (frozen), $3.99 / pound
Cornish game hen (frozen), $2.69 / pound **
Golden Jumble Quail (frozen), $8.99 / pack of 6 (approx. 28 ounces) **
Whole duck (frozen, parts missing), $2.69 / pound
Partridge (frozen), $16.99 / pound
Squab (frozen), $13.99 / pound
Black chicken (frozen), $9.99 / pound
Stewing hen (frozen), $1.79 / pound

Miscellaneous:
Deer flank steak (frozen), $12.99 / pound
Lamb shoulder (frozen), $5.99 / pound
Rabbit (frozen), $9.79 / pound
Goat, skin-on $4.59 / pound

… For the record, we’ve only fed the asterisked (**) items off this list. But every time I come across a strange cut of meat, I think, Hmm, I wonder if the dogs would like that?

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