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Cuttlets are for Sissies

Here come the Cutlets, where are the nuggets?

Matt Cutts is a Google employee. He tried to be a leader among SEOs interested in Google, but has failed at that. Instead, he has gathered (some say created) a flock of hyper-aggressive, almost righteous “Cutlets” who listen to his gospel and fill his blog with oddly naive observations and “evidence” of sites that are breaking the Google rules.

They have become known as The Cutlets.

History repeats itself. A long time ago someone discovered that chicken tasted bad. It was a pinkish meat that basically smelled bad. A plucked chicken always looked dirty, because the farmer could never get all of the quills, and those left behind made the chicken look like it had a 5 o’clock shadow.

One day a farmer decided that if he could sell chickens, he could make a good profit because chickens were easy to raise. So he changed the feed to improve the smell and lighten the color, and started selectively breeding only the lightest colored chickens. Chickens breed quickly, and over a reasonable amount of time this farmer bred himself a flock of white chickens. When plucked, you couldn’t see the left-behind quills because they had no pigment. He started selling it as a replacement for beef, and it took off. Chicken was cheap protein. Cheap cheep cheep.

Chicken became synonymous with white meat. Go figure. It’s not white meat. Most of the chicken is dark meat. That’s simply how nature intended the chicken to be. In fact, the dark meat is where the action is — virtually all of the flavor and nutrients that chicken offers is in the dark meat.

Anyway over time the propaganda that created the white chicken led to chicken breast meat sold separate from the chicken (for a premium). Yes, people are always willing to pay more for breasts. These became known as chicken cutlets. Just the select breasts, chosen to represent the chicken which actually is a dark meat bird.

Now you may recognize that chicken cutlet farming is not a sustainable business. You can’t grow a cutlet. Putting that aside as an exercise for the reader (what happens to the rest of the chicken if your gospel praises only the cutlet), how does a cutlet promoter maintain his business? Enter the “tender”.

Chicken Tenders are basically chicken cutlets cut into strips. Initially, the “tender” was created as a marketing vehicle to sell that portion of the cutlet that contained an unsavory white, stringy tendon. Most people cut it off and threw it away. A propagandist re-named that piece the “chicken tender” and sold it separately, at a premium. Any Engineer (the real kind – the ones who went to Engineering school) can show you that surface area increases “exponentially” as a cutlet is sliced into pieces. Since each piece gets breaded all the way around, the amount of actual chicken decreases as breading is added to cover the increased surface area. And bread is far cheaper than chicken. So nowadays every restaurant in America sells these strips of chicken cutlet, usually breaded and deep fried, at an incredible profit.

But of course there is more to the evolution of the chicken people are eating today. The cutlet didn’t only spawn the “tender” (or “chicken finger”, oddly enough). Not satisfied with 6 ounces of small white strips of meat representing a 2.5 pound mostly-dark meat bird (reminder: what happened to the rest of the chicken?), they created the “chicken nugget“.

Chicken Nuggets are probably the most prolific form of chicken in the modern commercial food markets. McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s.. they sell far more chicken nuggets than hamburgers. The chicken nugget was marketed as the prime white portion of the chicken, at first, hence the reference to gold nuggets. Of course, we know it is really a mash up of all of those parts of that dark-meat bird that do not qualify to be chicken tenders or chicken cutlets. That’s right, the bones, beaks, wings and what not. The chicken nugget is the hot dog of the chicken world. Did you ever really look up close at what’s behind the secret recipe bread covering of your favorite chicken nugget? Yuck.
Of course no one with a taste bud would eat those things, unless you coated them with sugar. So now chicken nuggets are sold with.. “barbeque sauce“. Did you ever watch a chicken nugget lover pack his take out order with a few napkins, a straw for his coke, and a huge handful of “sauce”? Ounce for ounce, he’s eating more sauce and bread than chicken. Certainly more sauce than white meat chicken. But he’s paying a premium for that breaded crap. What a moron.

So Matt Cutts has begun breeding SEO Cutlets. History suggests the real profits are in the dark meat, where all of the volume and flavor is found. History suggests that those white meat advocates have an agenda, and the consumers of white meat harbor a secret insatiable appetite for dark meat covered in sugary goo.

Nobody knows how it will evolve, but one thing is for sure. When I decide to serve chicken at my table, it is an organic whole bird, roasted to perfection so the dark meat is properly juicy, the white meat is not all dried out (and is delicately spiced), and the only sauce available is the natural gravy one gets by serving only the best organic efforts. Nuggets are for fools, and cutlets are for sissies.

One Comment

  1. Bob wrote:

    Small world. My 5th grader is doing a report on a nutritious diet and the specific topic is chicken. She found this on a Google search. Even though she didn’t get the tie-in (which Dad thought was brilliant), it is a great synopsis of fast food chicken. A true 2 fer 1 value meal.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2007 at 8:30 am | Permalink