An Homage To The Humble Pig

May 29, 2014
Pig head with truffles and foie gras, Heritage Tavern, Madison

Pig head with truffles and foie gras, Heritage Tavern, Madison

Some fair warning: This blog post may not be for you if you keep kosher or halal, or if you seek out those “V”s in parentheses on restaurant menus – or if you simply reject the whole Instagram-fueled craze of food porn – because this is a post about my favorite animal to have on my plate. This is a post about the humble pig.

“The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple, it makes bacon.” —Jim Gaffigan.

I once had a completely flavorless slab of meat from some “Modern American” eatery just off F Street in Washington, D.C., that the menu called a pork chop. As soon as I bit into it I knew my mistake. Why would someone born and bred smack-dab in Middle America fly to the coast for a pork chop? It defied logic to leave the epicenter of the pork industry to sit down at a white tablecloth and expect to have great pork.

I think about that pork chop whenever someone tells me they prefer beef to pork. That’s a preference that also defies logic in my mind. But often those people will admit they are comparing a bland pork chop to a finely marbled ribeye when stating their preference. So I give them a pass. Then I remind them of the sheer wonder that is bacon, pulled pork, prosciutto, sopressata, pork belly, and on, and on, and on.

Here are some of my favorite pigs:

Braised pork cheeks, Brasserie Zentral, Minneapolis

Braised pork cheeks, Brasserie Zentral, Minneapolis

Pork tripe, Pig in a Fur Coat, Madison

Pork tripe, Pig in a Fur Coat, Madison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pork belly bibimbap, Left Handed Cook, Minneapolis

Pork belly bibimbap, Left Handed Cook, Minneapolis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charcuterie board, Forequarter, Madison

Charcuterie board, Forequarter, Madison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pigs!, Fromagination, Madison

Pigs!, Fromagination, Madison