Smart Shopper

The more marbling, the better taste and tenderness, the higher USDA grade.

These photographs show the importance of marbling in the USDA grading system. The following degrees of marbling illustrate the minimum amount of necessary for each USDA grade. USDA Prime is represented by the "Slightly Abundant" photograph. USDA Choice is represented by the "Small" photograph. USDA Select is represented by the "Slight" photograph.

 

 

Don't be fooled by the terms Premium or Reserve.

They are not part of the US Department of Agriculture grading system and are typically a lower grade of beef.

Fresh vs. Frozen

The term "fresh" is highly deceptive and is not necessarily a good thing. "Fresh" means the beef is not aged. However, the finest cuts of beef always need to be aged. Quite simply, aging is the process which makes meat tender and more flavorful, but once you age the meat it is no longer "fresh". Furthermore, so called "fresh" selections can actually be inferior to professionally flash frozen products. Here's why: If not used within 48 hours of receipt (that includes your local supermarket), never frozen cuts will begin to purge their natural juices, resulting in a less juicy product.

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