Sesasonal Fresh Meat Trends:<br />Love Me Tender(loin): Steak Hits the Sweet Spot

Although I fully endorse the axiom reminding us that “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first,” (a good one from Ernestine Ulmer, a little-known but much-quoted American writer), nothing says “amoré” like a great steak dinner, according to a seasonal survey by the Beef Checkoff program.

With the majority of Americans favoring a nice meal on Valentine’s Day over flowers or gifts, 62 percent of Americans profess their love for steak as their most desired intimate meal for two, the Beef Checkoff’s checklist found.

“During this month of romance, many Americans will share special moments with their significant other, often centered around a delicious meal,” said Dave Zino, executive chef for the Centennial, Colo.-based National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). “Now, new survey data shows that when Americans want to create the perfect ambiance with a meal that’s sure to impress and even ignite some sparks, a succulent steak like a filet mignon or T-bone is just the ticket.”

The survey confirms that steak continues to fan the flames of many devoted lovers across America:

• Nothing says love like beef and backrubs, or so I’m told. Forty-three percent of beef survey participants said they would choose a steak meal to kick off a romantic evening of hot tubs, back rubs and champagne

• Steaks are also associated as a “best match” for love (44 percent), romance (42 percent) and passion (41 percent)

• Beef is more often associated with “magnetism” (36 percent) over other proteins

While stalwart beef lovers need little convincing, grocers would be wise not only to play up the 29 lean cuts available, but also play up current low steak prices, to persuade even more shoppers to serve up a beef dish as the centerpiece for a special steakhouse-caliber meal.

To that end, Zino noted that rubs, marinades and proper cooking techniques are key. Remind shoppers to “Use simple rubs made with fresh herbs and garlic to enhance the flavor of naturally tender steaks like the T-bone,” he advised, putting a plug in for long-handled tongs rather than customary kitchen forks for turning steaks, to avoid piercing the beef and releasing juices prior to plating. It also goes without saying that instant-read thermometers are an ideal incremental display tie-in.

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Be sure to click here to reveal another “berry” beloved V-Day victual.
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