At Allrecipes we often host representatives from the brands, growers and local creators whose ingredients make our cooking possible. Last week we had the pleasure of hosting a group of nine beef and dairy producers who comprise the Washington State Beef Commission Board of Directors. Before they arrived, our Business Intelligence Analyst dug through some of Allrecipes’ three billion pages of data to see what cut of beef is trending the strongest in the United States (percent year-over-year growth). Much to our surprise, in the western states the clear winner for “up and coming beef cut of the year” was beef tongue. When we looked at a heat map showing areas of growth, the map was glowing red in all of the western states but especially high in Texas and California. The exception to this trend was Utah – which was an island of blue (slow-growth state) in a large sea of red (fast-growth states).
We dug a bit deeper to see what’s driving this trend and came up with the following hypothesis of why beef tongue is growing in the west:
- The predominance of Mexican cuisine that’s hugely popular in the west. Beef tongue is often seen in tacos and burritos (lengua) in Mexico.
- Growth of the ‘Farm to Table’ movement where chefs at the trendiest restaurants are using up every bit of livestock they purchase from nose-to-tail.
- The popularity of food trucks in places like Houston and Los Angeles who are making a name for themselves serving lengua tacos – making this delicacy more widely available.
Interested in trying out beef tongue at home? We’ve picked a few of most popular recipes to get you started.