The Whole Hog: Taylor's Market Butchering Classes

By: Julia Tanghetti


I love cooking, but I will admit that I have a bit of trepidation working with proteins in the kitchen. As a loyal Taylor’s market customer, I’ve known for sometime about the butchering classes offered at Taylor’s Kitchen and I finally took part in a class to expand my meat vocabulary.

The class “The Pig and Sausage Too!” was amazing. When I walked into Taylor’s the Saturday morning of the class, there was a half a pig lying on the table and two hours later that animal was broken down into all the delectable cuts we know and love (and also into some cuts I have never heard of).

Do you know the difference between bacon, Canadian bacon and rashers? What about St. Louis ribs and spare ribs? Well I do (now), and I am a better person for it.

Danny Johnson, Taylor’s owner and head butcher, runs these classes on Saturday mornings at the restaurant next door. I could not have asked for a better guide in learning all about pork. The art of butchering is having a renaissance right now, but the butchers at Taylor’s have been ardent supporters of this movement even before it became so hot. One of my main takeaways from the class is that your local butcher can be your best friend in the kitchen! From suggesting ideal cuts to cooking preparations, these guys (and gals) have it covered.

Taylor’s offers a variety of topics for these classes, including Butchering 101, Lamb, and The Grill. The $40 I spent for the class was well worth it. After the two-hour session of butchering, a delicious lunch from Taylor’s Kitchen was served.

One point of clarification: you do not actually butcher the animals yourself in these classes. However, if you really want to get into it, Taylor’s also offers hands-on butchering classes. For $300 you can break down your own hog and take home 35 pounds of meat. Perhaps that will be my next adventure in my meat education!

image(1) To purchase tickets for upcoming classes click here:

Taylor’s Market

2900 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95818

(916) 443-6881

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