Butcher’s shop alive and well in Stallings
by Toby Clark
As times change and the world speeds along, preserving traditions from the past can get harder. For butchers like Stallings resident Enzo Lore, his art is more than tradition, it’s a skill.
The butcher’s training changed dramatically over the years, especially in the United States. A prospective butcher today can earn a certificate in a short program, rather than the lengthy on the job training once required.
“Today, there is a crash course to learn butchering in a matter of months. The way we learned, it took years and years to understand every single piece of meat,” said Lore, who is the owner of Enzo’s Italian Market in Stallings. Lore began working in a butcher shop after school when he was 16. Over the next years, he learned the art of butchery and came to know each cut of meat very well. He also learned charcuterie, making traditional Italian sausages.
Italian sausage remains one of the world’s most popular sausages. Well-known styles are mild, hot, and sweet, but other recipes flourish. Enzo’s Italian Market hand makes these traditional flavored sausages, as well many other varieties.
“Some of the sausage we create, you will not find anywhere else because it is my recipe,” Lore said. He created a porcini mushroom and sundried tomato sausage, as well as a chicken sausage with cheese and parsley. Lore began making the chicken sausage because many of his customers preferred a healthier choice as opposed to the traditional pork.
“If we do not have it, we will make it,” boasts Enzo. Josephine Lore, Enzo’s wife who works closely with him in the store, says her husband also “takes pride in trying to bring back the one on one relationship with the customer.” In a fast paced world, more and more people buy all their groceries at the supermarket. They may save time, but the Lores believe they lose that customer relationship, as well as sacrificing product quality.
“A steak cut fresh by a butcher just tastes so much better. The flavors are much richer,” said George Clausen, a food lover who also works in the restaurant industry. Today, many meat products come directly to the supermarket, frozen, prepackaged and ready for sale.
The art of butchery has faded with supermarkets taking over, Lore feels. The skills that once ensured the community’s survival are pushed aside by modernization. As butcher shops disappear across the country, the demand for old world meat however still thrives.
Butchering classes also become popular throughout specialty gourmet stores in our country, offering crash courses to attendees in butchering their own animals for consumption. These courses can be as simple as breaking down a whole chicken bought at a grocery store, or as in depth as breaking down a hog or a cow from its live state.
In addition to fresh meat and homemade sausage, Lore provides whole meals. He makes his own sauce, as well as meatballs, bracioles, and various roasts. Lore prepares these meals in the store, and then the customer cooks them at home. One popular take-home dinner consists of a pork roast stuffed with spinach and pancetta. The market also has a selection of cold cuts, traditional Italian cold salads, a catering menu, and a selection of bottled wines.
Although butcher shops seem like a thing of the past to many old timers, the art still thrives and appears in places never expected. Enzo’s Italian Market on Potters Road is the quintessential example.