Food by the gram has been getting a lot of traction in Australia. You have been about to purchase many things such as raw grains, frozen berries and of course raw meat for many years (or even decades) but what is taking trend is predominately smoked meats by the gram... and its not cheap!
Many a hipster pub and new smoked meats restaurants around Sydney and Melbourne are driving this trend which comes out The States (image above from Austin Texas) where all smoked meats in 90% of the smoke house's are sold per half pound (226gm).
From a business perspective its an attractive offering. On the menu it sounds cheap... $8.50 per 100gms (where 200-300gms is suggested for a dinner in most venues) however there is great margin to be made, well one would think. $8.50 per 100gm equates to $85 per kilo. on average a whole side of beef brisket will cost $12/kg wholesale. This is an amazing markup especially in foodservice land where food costs sit at around 25-35% of plate costs. Plus this cost is only paying for the protein... you want sides with that?? more money please!
There are however a few more costs involved for the venue as they needs to take into account that if you are going to be doing it correctly, you will need a pit master (one who mans the smoker for 12hrs every day). That Pit Master is not as much help in the kitchen because he's usually sitting my the fire....
The verdict is that for a consumer, purchasing meat by the gram is great for us health conscious who either can't eat craploads anymore or are concerned with the fact that eating too much red meat isn't good for us. Its also a great way to sample a number of different flavours and dishes by getting a 100gms of one and 100gms of another cut but be careful as it can sure add up!
My view is that as long as it is good, really good, i am happy to pay for it, otherwise i'll do it at home... cheats recipes coming soon!