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Cheap Foods that Become Popular

I hate it when some things become popular. One of my favorite clams, the razor clam, is not "hot." I always get them at chinese places for a reasonable price - now this:


So demand will go up......other items that I can think of:

Beef Short Ribs
Chicken Wings (more expensive than thighs now)

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      1. re: weezieduzzit

        These make me particularly bummed. Seemed to have happened shortly after I went back to eating meat. :(

      2. Heck, bones have gotten pricey lately. The moment the "chefs of the moment" advocate a cut, the price quickly rises. I am already seeing an uptick in chicken thigh prices, and those wings I used to use to make stock? Way too expensive these days.

        37 Replies
        1. re: smtucker

          So true. I bought beef bones last Christmas for stock and I was shocked at the price.

          1. re: smtucker

            I've gone to using chicken backs to make most of my chicken stock with.
            Though I use wings on special occasion. I love the wings because of how fatty they are. I blend in all the fat with soy lecithin to emulsify it into the broth after it's finished.

            Beef bones are going up too, it's no fun at all. Pork bones are just chillin at $.59/# still, been using more pork stock than others lately.

            1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

              I use necks and feet from the Asian market.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                me too, but shhhhh.... don't tell anyone about it... I don't need the price of the necks and feet going up now!

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  US WAS SELLING A LOT OF CHICKEN paws to china till they filed an unfair trade complaint.

                  1. re: divadmas

                    Is that really so? Maybe that is why nobody seems to know where all the chicken feet went, whenever I inquired about them at non-Asian grocers and butchers. I always thought they went to pet food producers.

                    1. re: vil

                      I think producers were getting 10x the price from Chinese as from pet food makers. But because of trade rules that market dried up.

                2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                  Chicken backs are my go to choice for chicken stock these days too, but I suspect the prices won't stay low for long.

                  Where I am, beef and pork bones are definitely going up in price, but some suppliers seem to leave in more meat with the bones, giving them more value. The bits of meat next to the bones are the tastiest.

                  1. re: vil

                    One would expect with all this spatchcocked chicken craze that chicken spines would be a plenty.

                    1. re: rudeboy

                      When I spatchcock a bird I always do it myself... Do some stores sell them that way?

                      1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                        Haven't seen it yet, but one could expect the butchers to start selling them that way, taking out the backs and increasing the price substantially.

                        Coincidentally, I did see a pack of chicken backs at my market last night for an insanely low price. Probably generated from quartering chickens.

                    2. re: vil

                      It so happens that Smithfield pork has a very large exporting contract for bones with companies in China that produce fish food for their fish farms, then they sell us back the fish!

                      1. re: PHREDDY

                        Not to me, I never eat Asian farmed fish, and for good reason! I really do not care for fish/shrimp raised in open cesspools.

                  2. re: smtucker

                    I frequently can't even find chicken thighs on their own now.

                    Fortunately backs and necks are still cheap for me--my stock making parts of choice.

                    1. re: debbiel

                      Can't even get odd chicken parts like necks or backs in supermarkets here in NNJ. Going to have to start buying and breaking down whole chickens, but for singles who don't like frozen meats or poultry, it going an interesting trade-off. Either eat chicken 4-5 times a week, or succumb to freezer birds.

                      1. re: mcsheridan

                        "succumb to freezer birds." For some reason, this made me giggle. Maybe because there is so much truth behind it.

                        I'm seriously considering raising my own chickens. Many in my hood do. My grandmother used to slaughter chickens, and it seemed horrifying when I was a kid, but it may be time to come to terms with my meat. Even if it is based on cost! And the supply of bones for stock.


                        1. re: rudeboy

                          raising your own you will get better meat and eggs but you will save no money. hard to compete with huge factory farms. and farming is a hard, risky business.

                          1. re: divadmas

                            There's no way I'd slaughter our own birds for food. They have names, they're cute as a bug, and both Mrs. ricepad and our daughter would never speak to me again if one of our chickens appeared as the main course.

                            1. re: ricepad

                              Yes, I have small kids, and I'm trying to balance the slaughter verses buying prepped meat in the grocery store.

                              1. re: rudeboy

                                We did not have chickens when I was a kid, but my dad came home with two dead pheasants almost every Saturday and sometimes during the week. I was fascinated with the cleaning process. My dad always showed me the corn in their crop, we kept the long tail feathers, and I remember my dad cleaning the gizzard.

                                My mother would roast the pheasant with wild rice stuffing. I did not know that it was gourmet, it was just mom's cooking.

                                Of course I had no attachment to the pheasants.

                                1. re: rudeboy

                                  Susan Orlean's New Yorker blog chronicles her travails raising chickens. IIRC she also tallied up the costs. Those eggs might as well have been laid by Faberge!

                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    was she the one who published the book "Made from Scratch"?

                                    1. re: greygarious

                                      Friends of mine had the same result. When they figured the cost per egg they gave all the chickens away

                                  2. re: ricepad

                                    I guess they can become like pets. I know someone that even has window curtains in their chicken coop.

                                    I have never raised ducks myself but people that have seem very fond of them. And their eggs are very rich and good for baking.

                                  3. re: divadmas

                                    Diva - if you're only doing subsistence fowling (is that a word? - say 8-10) the cost is minimal, a healthy grain from a feed store supplemented with the summer bugs they forage, a few kitchen scraps and their used egg shells smashed into bits are all that's really needed.

                                    1. re: hill food

                                      Re: fowling - you're in the right church, wrong pew. Fowling refers to hunting, trapping or shooting birds. Also used in the phrase "fowling piece" referring to a gun for same.

                                  4. re: rudeboy

                                    rudie - I have several friends in dense urban neighborhoods who raise chickens. the immediate neighbors think they're crazy, but they don't complain as long as those fresh eggs keep coming and the coops are kept clean (ugh - worse than an old cat box if ya let it go).

                                    1. re: hill food

                                      That's the situation in my Austin Hood (north central). Eggs are a plenty! We even have people that tend goats in my neighborhood. They walk them down the street on leashes.

                                2. re: debbiel

                                  i'm told that the thighs are being exported to europe where dark meat is preferred and will fetch a premium.

                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    Sigh. I would pay a premium for them. Love the thighs.

                                    I buy local birds. The little grocery I get them from seems to rotate a bit. Heavy on drumsticks one week, thighs the next...They always have whole birds, but parts are not consistent. It's just been too long since we've had thighs, and the person I talked to at the store didn't know when they'd get more. I suppose it's time to call the producer.

                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                      since american chickens are fed gmo corn i dont know if europe would accept them.

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        In Japan, chicken breast meat is the cheapest, while the dark meat cuts are most expensive. Seems like it is the opposite in San Francisco, where we spend a month or two each year.
                                        Also, eggs in Japan are far cheaper than in the U.S. Sold in "tens" rather than dozens, we get ten large size eggs for a bit over one dollar.

                                        1. re: Tripeler

                                          i can get commercial eggs for $1/dozen, but they are from battery chickens so won't buy them.

                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                            The eggs we get for $1 per 10 are usually quite fresh, with good firm whites and fairly deeply coloured yolks. I find them fine in every way.

                                            Our daughter once had a battery chicken when she was very young. It made a lot of noise when you flipped the switch, so we took out the batteries and she didn't miss that they were gone.

                                            1. re: Tripeler

                                              so how did you prepare the batteries?

                                    2. re: smtucker

                                      Years ago we would ask for bones from the butcher and get them for free. Times sure change!

                                      1. re: Jpan99

                                        I can remember going to my local butcher and asking for shank bones for my dog. They'd saw them into sections and wrap them up for me. No charge!

                                    3. Pork Baby Back ribs used to be cheap because they were small and didn't have much meat.

                                      As rudeboy has already noted. Beef short ribs are ridiculously priced.

                                      Chicken feet

                                      1. I remember using squid as bait when I was a kid....now it's "calamari".....same with skate - also used it as bait....

                                        1. Sword fish
                                          stone fruit in general

                                          1. Skirt steak

                                            Wings were out of control over the winter, but I've seen prices start to lower. They are still well over the norm from a few years ago.

                                            Thighs (boneless more generally more expensive than breasts now in my neck of the woods, for good reason)

                                            Short ribs have been inching up

                                            Flat Irons are prolly next for beef to start trending higher.

                                            1. I don't see that ANYTHING is cheap any more. My husband was as student the first seven years we were married and we were POOR so it got hard-wired into me when I shopped to follow my radar beam to whatever was cheap, on sale, a loss-leader etc and build around that to make meals and over the years that sense hasn't entirely gone away. But nowadays it is very rare to find anything that is cheap. When soup bone is $4.49 lb and good bread is pushing $5 a loaf, we know we are in a different universe. Now I just pay the price, whatever, and remind myself that we can't take it ($$$) with us. Thus in this mood of carpe diem, I am agreeing to pay food prices that I think are just obscene. Who is making the money?

                                              11 Replies
                                              1. re: Querencia

                                                Not the farmers, for the most part; agribusiness and middlemen, mostly. Even the supermarkets are on slim profit margins.

                                                1. re: mcsheridan

                                                  Get used to it.

                                                  Climate change: California, a major agricultural state, is in a historic drought. The Midwest, South and Southeast, also major farming areas have had both floods and droughts in recent years.

                                                  Shipping: Fuel costs are ever higher, which impacts everything from the cost of manufacturing to operation of farm equipment to transportation of products to processing to the supermarket's monthly utility bill.

                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                    It no longer shocks me, and due to the factors you cite, I know there's no end in sight.

                                                    The wars of this century won't be about ideology; they will be about survival in a changing world.

                                                    1. re: ospreycove

                                                      My comment was responding to Querencia where she said she didn't see that anything is cheap any more, not to beef prices specifically.

                                                      Still, your quote from the Herald is interesting. I had to dig a little for the article, but the sidebar story is correct: Florida's involvement in beef ranching isn't much known outside of agricultural circles. I certainly haven't traveled extensively through the state, so I've only seen the usual - orange groves, Disney, and the Gold and Gulf Coasts. I never would have thought to find cattle ranches.

                                                      1. re: mcsheridan

                                                        Yup, almost all the calves leave the state to the mid-west feed lots, but if you look there are some pastured, grass fed steers tha are grown out here. Even some organic certified small operations. I find Florida grass fed beef very tasty, and much more of a value than "factory farm", supermarket purchased meat.

                                                        1. re: ospreycove

                                                          Which doesn't stop my local Sav-a-Lot to advertise that their beef is imported from Mexico!!

                                                  2. re: Querencia

                                                    where do you live? i can buy soup bones for $1-$2 pp in asian markets.

                                                    1. re: Querencia

                                                      I actually view it as a challenge, and try to have fun with it. I can still find stuff for decent prices every once in a while- really good sales / loss leaders, etc. I build the week's menu around that stuff, or buy in bulk, and use the vac sealer and freezer. This week it's choice sirloin tip steaks at 2.99/lb. Gonna go today and buy about 6 month's worth. The s/o thinks I'm nuts, but the savings definitely add up. I also load up the freezer around the holidays. The steaks I buy during the 4th of July sales will be just fine vac packed and frozen for some nice ribeye dinners during xmas season when the family is over.

                                                      1. re: Querencia

                                                        general mills
                                                        farmer johns
                                                        and on and on and on

                                                        1. re: Querencia

                                                          Totally agree, Quenrencia - I drive older model, used cars, live in a modest home, and generally cut down on expenses for carpe diem, bon vivant, food, wine, and friends.

                                                          One thing that I've learned recently is that one can get the most from bones that are simmered for 15 hours. So any leftover roasted bones can be extracted, say, from grilled chicken or baby backs or anything,

                                                        2. All of the above...most of my favorite things to cook, actually (except for swordfish, any clam, or calamari).

                                                          Here's one more: breast of veal. IF you can find one anywhere, it's inexpensive by veal standards, but when you recall what it used to cost, and how high the bone to meat ratio is, $9 lb. is dear.

                                                          1. I don't buy a lot of beef, but just got some chuck roast. It was over 5 $ a pound. I realize beef prices are very high right now, but wasn't chuck roast at one time considered a "cheap" cut of meat ?It costs more than just about allthe grades of ground beef per pound.
                                                            A 3 pound roast was over 15 dollars.

                                                            1. Oxtail. It sells now for $4.98 to $6.98/lb and the weight is mostly bone. But I still love oxtail stew and make it at least once a year.

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: kittyfood

                                                                Agree with the oxtail; I live in a little town with two supermarket chains and NO butcher shops or Asian markets. The oxtail prices are currently $5.00 lb. Shortribs over that price as is most of the other boney beef cuts that I love. Beef tongue, soup bones, marrow bones..fuggetaboutit!

                                                                Chicken wings are the most expensive part of the chicken around here. Leg/thigh quarters are still pretty inexpensive. I bought a 10 lb bag on Friday for .69lb and about two weeks ago, I bought 20 lbs for .59 lb.

                                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                  and the bone:meat ratio on wings means i never buy them.

                                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                    but hotoy the point of wings IMHO is the skin and fat:meat ratio...

                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                      one of my first jobs was bartending in a place in the late 80s that had 10cent wing night once a week. we also offered $1 drafts that night. guys would eat dozens of them and after awhile the fry guy would get so overwhelmed the wings were coming out 1/2 raw and bloody. i haven't eaten a chicken wing in decades.


                                                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                        you get a hall pass. I love them yet still only indulge maybe once a year.

                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                          That fry cook didn't know how to prep wings. They come out best when they are cooked twice, just like fries/frites.

                                                                          A long fry at low temp. 250-300F, for 15-20 minutes earlier in the day or the day before, that gets them cooked. Then put aside to cool, to room temp., or in the fridge/walk-in, or even frozen, and then fried to order at around 400F until crispy, 3-4 minutes. I know several places that did wing specials and did that. The wings came out super crisy outside, and juicy inside.

                                                                          They would prep 40 gallon containers of them at a time.

                                                                2. An older cousin of mine in Halifax recalls around the Depression when lobster was only found in the "poor kids'" lunchboxes!

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: DrMag

                                                                    In the mid-60s, when I was in college in New Hampshire, it was cheaper to buy fresh lobster off the boat than to buy chopped meat. Unfortunately, that only lasted 2 years. The lobstermen told us they were getting such crazy prices from Chicago restaurants that they didn't even eat lobster at home any more.

                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                      Back in the summer of 2008 lobster in Maine was so cheap that cheap bologna at the supermarket was much more expensive than the lobster. What was even better was that I could get them for a dollar each off the boat. I would fill up a large cooler with 50 lobsters for $50. It's an involved story, but this was due to the Icelandic Bank collapse. Then add in the way gas prices shot up to an all time high that same summer.

                                                                      I lived there at the time and finally got totally fed up with lobster. But I had a heck of a lot of friends from out of state come to visit that summer to binge out on lobsters.

                                                                    2. re: DrMag

                                                                      "Dirt-cheap because they were so copious, lobsters were routinely fed to prisoners, apprentices, slaves and children during the colonial era and beyond. In Massachusetts, some servants allegedly sought to avoid lobster-heavy diets by including stipulations in their contracts that they would only be served the shellfish twice a week."


                                                                      1. re: thirtyeyes

                                                                        Great link. I will share that with my FB friends.

                                                                    3. Beef tongue used to be really cheap. Now it costs as much as 'real meat'!

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: ricepad

                                                                        As much as prime, aged, steaks, or more. I saw beef tongue for $32 lb. the other day.

                                                                        1. re: JMF

                                                                          That is outrageous.

                                                                          Where I am, I get pastured tongue for about $9 a piece (about 2 lbs?), if I go to the right places. Just a few days ago. I scored one for $4.5/lb, from one of the newer local farms, but I suspect that demand and supply will very soon push it to higher prices.

                                                                          1. re: JMF

                                                                            That was for smoked tongue, but raw tongue was over $20 lb. at the same place.

                                                                        2. From today's Sarasota Herald,

                                                                          "Times are good, lately, for those ranchers. Virtually every factor of the beef industry is pushing up prices: weather, shrinking herd sizes, corn prices, energy prices, growing foreign demand. In turn, the price of ground chuck at Publix stores in Tampa is $4.49 a pound, up 25 percent from last year and 50 percent from 2010, and a New York strip steak last week cost about $13.99 a pound when not on sale."

                                                                          1. Chicken wings. The whole point of wings is lost if they are expensive.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                              Blame Buffalo. :) all that blue cheese and celery made them *the* bar snack of choice for far too many, supplanting nachos in many cases.

                                                                              1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                howso? They are delicious... thats why I eat them, not due to the price.

                                                                              2. Pork belly
                                                                                Beef cheeks
                                                                                Breast of lamb
                                                                                Lamb shanks
                                                                                Veal chops
                                                                                Marrow bones

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                                                  Good list, PhilD. Lamb breast is one that particularly irks me. Especially since it is 70% fat that needs rendering.

                                                                                  I forgot to add crawfish to the list. What used to be a strictly SE Louisiana and extreme SE TX (where I'm from) staple, has been exported and turned into an industry. While I like the fact that so many people are into boiled crawfish now, it is a bittersweet notion.

                                                                                  1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                    We've had this conversation before, 75-100 bucks for the wifeacita and me to eat crawfish with tax, tips, and drinks. Freakin' crawfish, Houston prices.

                                                                                2. McDonald's forced the price of chicken wings starting over a year ago. I tried their wings once and they were ok. I wonder if any of their locations are still selling them?

                                                                                  1. I know that this board is focused on grocery-store food and prices, but I'd like to broaden it to gripe about the ramen situation. Even a year ago, I could get my Sapporo Ramen fix with a ten-minute wait - at rush hour. Now, it's like waiting for TSA airport screening when there's a terror alert. Awful!

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: pocketviking

                                                                                      Beef brisket.

                                                                                      Although never particularly cheap nut prices just keep going up.

                                                                                      Canned corned beef for some reason is $4-5 a can. There is also something called canned beef corned I think by hormel. I would avoid.

                                                                                      1. re: divadmas

                                                                                        Good point. I used to use brisket for my chili. Last time I went for it, 2.5 lb. was going to cost me $18 and change. I got some stew meat instead that was cheaper, and a little less work.

                                                                                      2. re: pocketviking

                                                                                        The ramen situation is maddening. I cannot stand for the gourmet ramen restaurants where one pays over $10+ for a bowl of noodles and a smattering of "gourmet" smatterings.

                                                                                      3. I don't even want to post this, for fear of jinxing it, but I swear if pork butt doesn't stay relatively cheap, I will be piiiiised.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: charlesbois

                                                                                          charlesbois - I noticed that after you posted this, pork butt went up 20%.

                                                                                          1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                            Great, I should have said I hope liver and squab don't increase in price.

                                                                                        2. Beef tongue and oxtails prices have gone through the roof.

                                                                                          1. Sorry - I cannot edit my original post. When I said "is not "hot." I meant to say "is now "hot."

                                                                                            1. Pho has been getting popular in the last few years, but it's still pretty cheap (at least it is where I live.) I can imagine gourmet versions, popping up - $20 a bowl with organic wheat noodles, kobe beef, truffles, etc. :)

                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: 4X4

                                                                                                There is a local Vietnamese place, the only one in Westchester County, (the burbs just north of NYC), where they are selling mediocre, dumbed down pho for $12+.

                                                                                                1. re: JMF

                                                                                                  And we have $10 banh mi here.......sad.

                                                                                                  1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                                    those are the average prices for pho and bahn me in my city

                                                                                                    1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                                      what? the "expensive" Pho Deluxe (tripe, brisket, eye round and meatballs) is still under $8.00 and I believe the banh mi are in the $4 price range

                                                                                                      1. re: cgarner

                                                                                                        Well, that's from the South Congress White Bread places. We can still get real bahn mi for about $4. But I do not like the omen

                                                                                                        1. re: cgarner

                                                                                                          In NYC at pho joints, the largest serving of deluxe pho was still under $6 as of the last time I went, and banh mi had just crept up to $4.

                                                                                                          1. re: JMF

                                                                                                            That's about seattle prices, actually pho a little higher. I expected NYC prices to be higher.

                                                                                                            1. re: divadmas

                                                                                                              There are gourmet places charging a fortune for mediocre banh mi and pho, but the small, good places have good prices.

                                                                                                    2. re: 4X4

                                                                                                      Well, I hope no organic wheat noodles, since noodles in pho are rice noodles :-)

                                                                                                    3. Spoke to my mom today, she is approaching 85, and I asked her to stratify the cost of meat, fish, pork, poultry, lamb and veal, back in the 50's & 60's in NYC where we lived. She did not recall the exact cost, so I asked her what she remembered was the cheapest and what was most costly.
                                                                                                      Her response ; cheapest first:
                                                                                                      1) Pork (although we were kosher, and more than 30 % of NYC were Jewish, I assume demand was lees)
                                                                                                      2) Organ meats...Liver, brains, sweet breads, intestine, tongue, lungs
                                                                                                      3) Fish, yes fish, it was plentiful, locally caught, and at the end of the day, they almost gave it away.
                                                                                                      4) Chicken and duck...Long Island was famous for duck. Chickens were farmed in an area near Toms River NJ, before ending up on the Maryland shore, so they were trucked the two hours live to NY for local slaughter and processing.

                                                                                                      5) Beef roasts...chuck, round, brisket, short ribs, shanks
                                                                                                      6) Lamb
                                                                                                      7) Veal
                                                                                                      7) Beef steaks, tenderloin, prime ribs...all of which was usually served at weddings.
                                                                                                      Again this was my mom's perspective from then. I then asked, Mom what do you think about the price of meat today...she said...ridiculous, especially for soup bones!

                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                        my mom remembers around WWII her Aunt Gertrude (yes a harsh woman) raised chickens to sell in town, so it was a rare treat to have that for dinner. my dad refuses to eat fish because his father would bring back a brace of whatever he managed to catch about twice a week (at least it was darn fresh).

                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                          I had an Aunt Gertrude, and I understand your sentiment.

                                                                                                        2. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                          In the late 60's we were pretty poor. Veal was so cheap that my mother fed us veal cutlets several times a week.

                                                                                                          I still remember a hot dog from a cart in Brooklyn cost 10 cents back then and a slice of pizza was 25 cents.

                                                                                                          1. re: JMF

                                                                                                            My mother cooked them all time and I will on occasion. I still remember my brother's best friend standing in our kitchen gorging himself on mom's veal cutlet's proclaiming them to be the best thing he'd ever eaten. Early 70's.

                                                                                                            1. re: JMF

                                                                                                              Yes veal was cheep and my mother made it say once every two weeks, dipped in egg then matzo meal , then minced onions, and fried in Crisco...
                                                                                                              but my remembrance of pizza , about 1960 25 cents for a slice and a Coke...a small pie (6 slices) 75 cents. a ride on the subway 10 cents!

                                                                                                          2. ox tail
                                                                                                            in 90s, we'd get the whole box for dirty cheap price..it was literally a givaway...not so much anymore.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Monica

                                                                                                              I stopped buying oxtail on a regular basis when it hit $1.99 lb. Now it's around 5.99 lb., and they trim off all the good surface fat, which is the best part. I would love it to go back to $.59 lb. like it was just 10-15 years ago.

                                                                                                            2. Orange roughy. Loved it because it was affordable back in the lean days. I don't even see it in the markets anymore and, even though the 'lean days' are behind us, I still couldn't afford it very often if I could find it.

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: AngelaID

                                                                                                                Orange roughy, aka "Slimehead or Deep Sea Perch", has all but disappeared, back in the early 1970s fishing operators got the name change to "Orange Roughy" and large restaurant chains and suppliers , (Red Lobster, Sysco, etc.) promoted it as an inexpensive alternative to other more expensive species, now the stocks have been overfished and decimated to unsustainable levels. See article below,

                                                                                                                1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                  Great point - I refuse to consume them. They fare the worst on the charts of seafood.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                    Thanks ospreycove for that link.

                                                                                                                    Growing up my parents used to serve orange roughy weekly usually and often baked or pan fried.

                                                                                                                    Once I moved out of the house during and after college, it was seldom in my dinner rotation.

                                                                                                                    I never even thought about it until now. And I never thought why I never saw it at the local fish monger or local grocery fish dept. Hmmm.

                                                                                                                    I always look for red snapper locally but that too is sometimes hard to find in the "flyover states" region of the USA.

                                                                                                                2. This thread is the most depressing thread I've ever read....
                                                                                                                  I kinda hate the food movement....
                                                                                                                  It's finally started to reduce my purchasing power.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                                    That's what's funny about this thread: this site and others & foodies in general (especially the Pollan types) somewhat did contribute to rising food costs by making hot formerly cheap stuff like pho, pork etc.

                                                                                                                    1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                                      "Yet each man kills the thing he loves..." - Oscar Wilde

                                                                                                                    2. Lobster used to be food for poor people until the 20th century.

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                          last few summers lobster around here has been $3.99 pp. am in boston, and due to warming water temps further south, we have had a glut of the critters.

                                                                                                                          i don't know how the guys afford to take out the boats, but i keep eating it. :)

                                                                                                                          course, we now have a red tide ban from newbury to gloucester so the prices of clams and mussels will rocket up.

                                                                                                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                            blue fin tuna was cat food till in 60s sushi took off and a single fish now goes for tens of thousands dollars.

                                                                                                                      1. hold on, rb! You live in AUSTIN ?TX? and razor clams are cheap?? Maybe they come from the Gulf in Mexico and Mexican food prices are cheap vs. US prices?
                                                                                                                        I'm asking all this because I have lived in Boston 40+ yrs. ; I first had razor clams 2 yrs ago, simultaneously with them becoming popular here. The razor clams we get are from a local Wellfleet MA company, now famous nationally, called Island Creek Oysters. They are somewhat 'Hot' because you're only likely to see them in some of our most popular restnts. Last year when i found them at my fishmonger's, they were $2.50 @. That high price reflects their scarce supply.

                                                                                                                        They are farmed only around a full moon, at which time, the tides are out, revealing the flats with their breathing holes. The farmers pour salt into the holes, which makes the razor clams come up out of their holes, being catchable, so to speak. Wicked labor intensive. ( btw,great book on oyster farming at Island Creek, which mentions this-- Shucked.)

                                                                                                                        Wings have grown exponentially in popularity the last 10-20 yrs.; Wings joints popping up like pizza places. Wings have been more expensive than thighs for quite a while now.

                                                                                                                        As to beef cuts, short ribs began to gain a niche here some 30 yrs ago; now its hangar, skirt and flatiron, instead of cheap flank steak like i grew up with.

                                                                                                                        way of the world. just wanted you to hear how it was in another part of the country. Try hard to think of it this way:
                                                                                                                        At LEAST you live where you can get decent (and even great!) Mexican food that's affordable.

                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                          opinionatedchef - We can get mex and TexMex for ridiculously low prices here. And we have a small but vibrant asian community here - nothing like Houston and their great viet community, but we are blessed with some great and affordable restaurants. I'm not sure where the razor clams are from - I do not think that their habitat is the Gulf of Mexico, but one can get a razor clam dish for under $10. At least for now.......

                                                                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                            there are pacific and atlantic razor clams.

                                                                                                                            oc, island creek is certainly not the only outfit harvesting razor clams. dunno who told you that bit of fancy. i have also been seeing them on boston menus almost 20 years. my first meal that included them was at clio in the early 00's. had them at sushi places before that in the 90s.

                                                                                                                            you may want to check ming's in chinatown. definitely cheaper than $2.50 ea. that's raw bar pricing and a retail gouge -- wherever you were.

                                                                                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                              uh oh. th you for that correction about 20 yrs., and for the ming's lead. But do you think they've come into the main stream more the last 5 yrs or so? When I asked my guys at Courthouse about razor clams and they said theirs came from Island Creek (and i had just learned from IC how they harvest them) i must have put the 2 together and assumed (oh nooooo, not me too??!!) they only come from IC. sigh.
                                                                                                                              I was amused to see Row34 listing them as Butter Clams
                                                                                                                              (when ICOB has referred to them as razor clams) and wondered why...

                                                                                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                I've never heard of using salt to harvest razor clams. I googled it and saw that it works. But how much salt do you end up using? I would think that even though salt is cheap, the cost might add up. Maybe they use rock salt?

                                                                                                                                For decades when I used to summer out on the North Shore of Long Island as a kid we just used clam rakes, clam hoes, spading forks, clam shovels, or just your hands, depending which type of clams. I've also seen a clam tube used once.

                                                                                                                                1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                  JMF - sounds like you hit the golden age of America - good memories of raking up clams, 10 cent dogs in NYC, cheap veal and oxtail.

                                                                                                                                  I guess a follow-up question to this thread is: What's cheap now that will go through the roof later? I'd bet that chicken thighs will rise in price, since so many are turning toward them. And you mentioned pig's feet, which I agree have already gone up. I can't fathom that, because it's hard to get anyone to eat them....and I don't see them on restaurant menus.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                                                                    I've seen stuffed trotters on several menus at upscale, nose to tail type restaurants in the past five years.

                                                                                                                                    Chicken thighs, especially the boneless, skinless, have already almost doubled in price the past five years.

                                                                                                                          2. I posted in another thread some time ago that I remember when supermarkets used to give wings away for soup and stock. Then some genius in Buffalo started serving them as bar food and the rest is history.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: mtlcowgirl

                                                                                                                              That's why I said upthread, "Blame Buffalo".

                                                                                                                            2. I used to be able to get Parm rinds for FREE, until every schlub on the Food Network starting to tell you that you can add the rinds to soups and stews and sauces and...

                                                                                                                              Damn it!

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                They now cost nearly the same as the full cheese wedge.

                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                  I used to look for pieces of Parmesan with little rind, now, give me that damn rind!
                                                                                                                                  I'm using every bit of that.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                    Bottled water can be found relatively cheap, even given the fact that it's far cheaper out of the tap.
                                                                                                                                    Sometimes, you don't have that option, and I can generally find a bottle for a buck.
                                                                                                                                    In fact, I bought a gallon for a buck at a Food Lion recently.
                                                                                                                                    "Elite" water, like Fiji, is for fools who wish to part with their money.

                                                                                                                                  2. luckily pig's feet are still ridiculously cheap and make the best broth ever.

                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                                                                        What? Rudeboy, did I say somepin wrong?

                                                                                                                                        Also, speaking of cheap, when I was in Austin many moons ago, there were some taco carts around UT's' campus, which (in my head) I referred to as the mexican/vietnamese fusion taco carts. Their green sauce was more asian-tasting than mexican and the staff seemed to be vietnamese or similar. Viet/mex bean & egg burritos with green fusion salsa were excellent for breakfast.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Teague

                                                                                                                                          No! Just good to hear from you after a long time. I remember the "roach coach" from my college days. Much maleined, but I loved the cheap eats. I was on a pauper's salary at the time and those carts first inspired my love for Viet cuisine.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                                                                            It's reassuring to hear that you noticed it too. I was pretty young and my foodieness, while present, was a completely private thing - I had nobody to discuss it with and no idea that other people thought about stuff like this. 1989 - haha, I lived a mile or so from Tamale House #3, and thought I had found nirvana, would ride my bike up there early in the AM and get tacos for breakfast. I grew up in the midwest, so such a thing didn't even seem possible.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Teague

                                                                                                                                              Sadly. Tamale House is no longer.It closed, right?

                                                                                                                                              Yesterday, I had a great meal with my kids (6 and 4) at Chez Nous. They were well behaved (amysuehere), and loved the steak and chocolate mousse. We walked down 6th and saw a bunch of ROT bikes and heard a great band where the primary instrument was a harp.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Teague

                                                                                                                                        Pigs feet have started to go up in price a lot recently. They used to be around $.59 a lb., but are now around $2.49 lb.

                                                                                                                                            1. In the early 70's .It would have to be squid. I used to get it free on the wharf for bait. I love the fried squid, especially the tentacles. @ $ 5.00 a pound now I still can't complain about the price. Still a good deal in my mind.

                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: emglow101

                                                                                                                                                the squid awoke in me about 1990. I love splitting a squid app/salad with someone who hates the tentacles and get really ticked off when the restaurant doesn't use or even buy that part (there's a big tip off it's pre-made)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                  There was a guy selling grilled cuttlefish on a popsicle stick at a festival in Japan. The tentacles end was cheaper.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: emglow101

                                                                                                                                                  We used to buy a big frozen block of it for bait when I was a kid to go fishing for flounder... and when/if we didn't catch enough flounder, we would hand it over to my grandmom who would cook it in a pot of red sauce and we'd eat it over pasta!
                                                                                                                                                  (ahhh, the good ol' days)

                                                                                                                                                3. How about polenta! One of the cheapest foods in the world and now restaurants charge big money for it. You could feed a whole family with it for pennies. I still love it.

                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                      gnocchi is still cheap to buy here in NYC...$2. for a 1 lb bag frozen on sale or $3.29 for a lb....not on sale..

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                          I recall ordering gnocchi a al panna (with cheese and cream ) at the kids menu luncheon for my daughter's Bat Mitzvah 18 years ago; tomorrow...it was served with mac and cheese, fried mozzarella sticks, rigatoni ala vodka, fruit crepes with apple, strawberries or peanut butter and bananas...that was the kids menu at the cocktail hour...
                                                                                                                                                          So in 1996 it was kids food. Back then
                                                                                                                                                          it was not really expensive for 50 kids..
                                                                                                                                                          Today?...well who knows?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                        I make my own. 1 potato, 1/4 cup flour. Dirt cheap.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Ox tails..$6.99/lb. Yesterday in NYC..outerborough

                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                        I buy ox tails at my asian (mostly korean) market. They're usually less than $4 a lb, I think because the main customer there just. won't. pay. more. for. bones. They even bone out shank and sell the meat and bones separately. However, peeps there seem quite eager to pay $7/lb for duck palettes and heads, I'm not sure how these are cooked, but pretty much every time I am in line people are buying large packages.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Teague

                                                                                                                                                          I too buy them about once or twice a year in Flushing, this market happened to be in East Elmhurst called Trade Fair...
                                                                                                                                                          The duck stuff...got me? But I will ask the next time I go to Flushing...

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Teague

                                                                                                                                                            when i can get them, i use the heads for stock.

                                                                                                                                                            have eaten the tongues cooked but have never tried to prepare them. they were awesome.

                                                                                                                                                        2. There is some place in California that has been making headlines for selling toast for like $7 a slice - I'm not kidding. Of course the hipster douchebags are all over that.

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                                                            A76 - the term I like now for that demographic is 'Dipster'

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                                                              this place and they just had a write up in Bon Appetit Magazine

                                                                                                                                                              (ugh, waiting in line for a $7 slice of toast with jam... really?)