Smoked polish sausage at Old Major.
Smoked polish sausage at Old Major.

Is nose-to-tail a time-honored tradition -- or a faddish trend?

Nose-to-tail dining is nothing new. People have eaten every possible part of an animal for millennia, as a way to stretch their food supply. But in the last decade it's become a trend, thanks in part to the 2004 release of The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating, by British restaurateur Fergus Henderson. At a time when industrial food was being re-examined through the lens of the locavore and slow-food movements, it wasn't that big a leap for diners to expand their repertoire beyond chicken breasts and steak.

See also: - Review: People have gone hog-wild over Justin Brunson's Old Major - Photos: Behind the scenes at Old Major - How do you learn to butcher a pig? Justin Bronson used YouTube

Given the rate at which restaurants hawking pig's feet and fried ears have popped up across the country, it's hard not to think of Old Major, which I review this week, as trendy. But chef-owner Justin Brunson disagrees, saying his approach is not new but old.

"I really think these old-world techniques like charcuterie or sausage-making is where food is going back to," he says.

In other words, not faddish but timeless. Do you agree with Brunson, or will nose-to-tail spots like Old Major be the neon of the '80s, forever associated with a particular moment in time?


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