Rack of lamb is the cut made up of the seven or eight ribs cut from either side of the spine and their attached meat. Though the ribs are sometimes cut apart and sold as rib chops, a whole rack makes an impressive presentation, and because each rib chop is small, one rack is perfect for serving two people. The meat is tender, ideal for quick, high-heat cooking methods like sear-roasting and grilling.
Rack of lamb looks best frenched—that is, trimmed of the meat and fat between the rib bones. You can buy the rack already frenched or do it yourself. Either way, be sure that the butcher removes the chine bone, which will allow you to cut apart the chops when you're ready to serve.
When buying lamb, color can be an indication of age; the lighter the color the younger (and presumably more tender) the lamb will be. American and New Zealand lamb are widely available in the United States. New Zealand lamb tends to be smaller and leaner than American-raised lamb, something to keep in mind when buying individual cuts; a leg or rack of lamb may weigh as little as half of the same American cut.