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Slightly OT - Why is Tri Tip so uncommon?

I made some Santa Maria style tri tip last night (posted pics here in another thread), and it got me thinking: what's the deal with tri tip being so seldom seen beyond the west coast.  I grew up in California and, with the exception of a 4 year stint in the Northeast for college, have lived here my whole life.  I remember when I was a kid going up and down the coast and stopping at these great little places--markets or roadside restaurants--that would have a pit BBQ outside or a Santa Maria style grill with a bunch of tri tip cooking away.  It'd be a few bucks to get a plate or a tri tip sandwich, both of which were invariably exceptional.  I mean ridiculously good.  Anyway, there's a place nearby my that does that every weekend: sets up a pit BBQ and has a bunch of tri tip going on Saturdays and Sundays (not to mention ribs, brisket, etc).  They also sell tri tip at the butcher's inside the store; that's where I got last night's roast.  Anyway, my wife and I were eating the tri tip last night, and I just kept thinking this is honestly one of the best cuts of meat out there.  It's relatively inexpensive, and it's very easy to get right.  Yet, for whatever reason, it's pretty scarce across the country.  A whole lot of people beyond the west coast have never even heard of it.  I can't figure out why that is.  So strange.  All I can say is that if you're one of those people who have had the misfortune of never trying tri tip, seek some out.  Sear the outside then throw in some oak and smoke it at 400 until it reaches your desired internal temp.  It's just so good.  And for everyone else, I'd be curious to hear your opinions: why has tri tip not caught on?
Southern California


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