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The paris Butchers Hold That A cow

This is an excerpt from Le Menagier de Paris
(France, 1393 - Janet Hinson, trans.)
The original source can be found at David Friedman's website

The Paris butchers hold that a cow, according to their style of talk, only has four principal members: that is to say the two shoulders, the two thighs, and the body at the front along its length, and the body at the rear along its length. For, with the shoulders and thighs removed, they cut the cow in two and make of the front one piece, and of the rear another; and thus the body of the cow is carried to the stall, if the cow is small or medium: but if it is large, the front part is cut in two lengthwise, and the rear part also, to carry it more easily, Thus we now have six parts of a cow, from which the two briskets are removed first, and then the two supports that hold it which are a good three feet long and half a foot broad, coming from below and not from above. And then they cut the flanks: and then to the sirloin which is not much over three fingers thick or two. Then, to the loin which is closest to the spine, which is as wide as a big fist; then to the fillet which is called the numble, which is about a foot long and no more; and one end is at the neck and the other is at the kidney, and it is the right of him who has the feet of the cow to flay it, and sell it in a little stall below the large Butcher's; and it is of small value.

Item, according to how large the cows are, they cut and sell at the Porte more pieces from one section than from another. And they do not know the exact tally of the townspeople in account with the butchers, for the good beef costs twenty pounds where the other costs but twelve.

Item, beef offal costs at the triper's eight sous: that is to say the lights in which are included the pancreas, the stomach, the second stomach, the spleen, the lungs, the liver and the four feet.

Item, at Besiers, from St. Andrew's day [November 30] which is before Christmas, sheep are salted in quarters, by rubbing well with salt, and rubbing again, and so on and so on, and then piling the quarters on top of each other for eight days and then putting in the fireplace.


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