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Taste the difference in good, fresh meat from Junior’s

Details: Junior’s Meat Market is at 17050 Highwater Rd., French Settlement (next door to Moonlight Inn). Hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays 8-6:30, and Sundays 9-2. 225-698-0871 or 225-939-5445.

For those who like their meat fresh and like to choose each individual steak, pork chop or chicken breast from a butcher’s meat display case, Junior’s Meat market in French Settlement is the place to go. Owner Junior Aydell is busy in the market every day cutting meat and making sausage. Meats can be cut to order if you want your steak extra thick or chops extra thin or other specifications.

“None of our meat is or has ever been frozen – and you can taste the difference,” said Aydell.

His ribeye streaks, aged for 21 days, have been his best seller since he opened last January. Also in demand are his T-bone, sirloin, New York strip and filet mignon steaks. His homemade pork sausage and andouille sausage are other favorites and can be blended hot or mild. The ground beef is freshly ground with an 81/19 fat ratio, and freshly ground pork is offered as well.

Exactly what is hog’s head cheese?

Hog’s Head Cheese is a misnomer as it is actually a jelled and molded meat product and not a cheese – and it’s not always made with the hog’s head. Hog’s head cheese undoubtedly originated when people processed their own hogs and attempted to use every scrap of the animal, including the head and feet. Everyone who makes it has their own recipe – often kept secret – but it is made from a mixture of boiled pork (the head and/or other meat) and pigs’ feet, which provides the gelatin that sets the “cheese.” The eyes, ears and brains are usually removed before cooking if the head is used. Onions and bell pepper are added, and sometimes vinegar. Once boiled, this mixture is chopped, mixed with the gelatin and poured into loaf pans or other molds to cool and jell. Hog’s head cheese can be either fiery hot or calmly mild, and it’s sliced and eaten with crackers or on a po-boy, or cubed like cheese as an appetizer. Try it; you might like it!

Also available are fresh whole young chickens; chuck, rump and eye-of-round roasts; bone-in seven steaks; stew meat; ham hocks; jambalaya pork; country-style pork ribs and soup bones. You’ll also find an assortment of deli meats and cheeses. In addition, Aydell offers ready-to-eat items such as gumbo, fried pork ribs, smoked ribs, hog head cheese, cracklins and beef jerky.

Customers can save money with their meat specials which consist of a package of several types of meats. A packaged special might include varying combinations of ground beef, eye of round or shoulder roast, sausage, pork chops, pork steaks or chicken breasts. The meat special changes weekly, so check with them for each week’s special.

Junior’s Meat Market also processes deer meat (cut up but not wrapped), and can make deer sausage upon request.

The market includes a small grocery area for frequently needed items such as mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, ketchup, seasonings, spaghetti sauce, beer and ice.

Aydell said, “If you’re headed to the camp, you can make one stop and get pretty much everything you need and get in and out quickly.”

He invites everyone to stop by and try their meats. The market may be a little bit out of the way, but he believes that it’s worth driving for, saying, “We sell really good meat here, and you’ll know it when you taste it.”