Archive for the Pork Category

You Cannot Get Swine Flu from Pork, Bacon or Delicious Ham

Posted in KNOW YOUR PIG, MEAT POLITICS, Pork, STUFF ABOUT MEAT, World of Meat with tags , , , on April 28, 2009 by chomposaurus

swine2What’s in a name? When it comes to today’s trendy new illness (move over, tapeworms!), Swine Flu, there simply is not much to fear in its etymology. True, the virus contains pig DNA; it also contains genetic material from humans and birds. It’s really, really difficult to spread a virus from pigs to humans. It happens about once a year. The bad stuff (i.e. Albert Camus’s The Plague) happens when the human who gets it does an above-average job of spreading it to other members of his species. Then the virate mutates, gets a passport, goes abroad, etc.

What I’m trying to say is: Bacon is still ok! Eat all the pork sausage you want. Don’t go all Indonesia on me and start dumping your Honey Baked Hams down the toilet. In the rare case of swine->man transmission, the swine would need to be alive, and you’d probably need to be bathing in its blood, Carrie-style. But even then, the chances of Carrie getting the flu are very low; she’d have to be bathing in the blood every day, or be a child with bad immune defenses who spent a creepy amount of time in the pig booth at the county fair. Don’t listen to me, listen to the CDC! In fact, doctors have yet to disprove that the flu can’t be cured with some good old-fashioned Swinetussin.

Ok, so let’s review:

Highly Likely to Infect You

Highly Likely to Infect You

Highly Likely to be Delicious

Highly Likely to be Delicious

Word of the Day: Speckmantel

Posted in Pork, STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags , , on March 10, 2009 by chomposaurus

baconbackpack
German, meaning “Bacon Jacket.” Our loyal correspondent P. Sundae sends this brief dispatch:

…saw this in the grocery store and thought you would enjoy it. It’s a wienerli wearing a Speckmantel (that’s a real German word, and yes, it means “Bacon Jacket”) and carrying a cheese wheel on its back.

Apparently the word is usually used to describe bacon-wrapped foods. I think I shall start referring to such delicacies this way; for example, “that filet is wearing a bacon jacket.”

Scrapple(con)quest: Victory at Brunch; or, How I Ate Some Scrapple

Posted in KNOW YOUR PIG, KNOW YOUR SAUSAGE, Pork, STRANGE MEAT, STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags , , on March 9, 2009 by chomposaurus

Offal comes when you least expect it. There I was, sitting down to brunch at Egg, one of Brooklyn’s trenderias, when I noticed it under the meats section of the menu: “Scrapple, fresh from our farm, $3.” Would sweet success only cost me $3? Yes, especially if I convinced my dining companion to order the other thing I wanted to try, the candied bacon (coated in hard syrup candy, just as good as it sounds).

This grainy image is the only footage we have of scrapple in the wild.

This grainy image is the only footage we have of scrapple in the wild.

But after my long months of waiting, would scrapple live up to its expectations? After all, scrapple is hog offal (heart, liver, head etc.) combined with cornmeal and mush, typically eaten in parts of Pennsylvania, so it may be a regionally acquired taste. Let me assure you, though, that it is much better than it sounds. It was fried into moist little patties, which had the consistency of hashbrowns. The taste was similar to corned beef hash, but with a fattier tang, like lamb. I’m not sure if supermarket scrapple would be this good, but with such strong flavors it would be hard to go wrong.

So having conquered scrapple in its natural environment, I’ll be tackling it next on my home turf: cooking scrapple in my kitchen. Stay tuned to this space to see if I survive.

Review: Bacon Pancakes

Posted in Pork, REVIEWS [Restaurants], STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags , , on February 6, 2009 by chomposaurus

While visiting DC for the inauguration, I had the good fortune to stumble into Marx Cafe in Mt. Pleasant for brunch. Our motley crew of hungry, hungover men soon spotted bacon pancakes on the menu and decided we had to try some. We ordered a stack for the table and dug in.

img_0245

I was expecting little bits of bacon to be mixed into the batter. Little did I know they would meld whole strips of bacon into the flapjack, as though they were pouring the batter on top of them. While I admire the culinary swagger it takes to place an intact piece of bacon inside a pancake, I must say it probably lessened the overall effectiveness of the flavor combination. It simply tasted like you had stabbed a piece of bacon on your fork, then stabbed some pancake, then rubbed it all in syrup. Delicious? Yes. But hardly original. You can do the same at Denny’s by ordering bacon with your grand slam.

So I may have to make my own bacon pancakes to get the unique, meaty-batter experience I was looking for. And trust me, you’ll be the first to know about it.

Know Your Pig: The All-Pork BBQ Burrito of Destiny

Posted in KNOW YOUR PIG, Pork, STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags , on January 26, 2009 by chomposaurus

BBQ Addicts brings you the Bacon Explosion, a creation that makes Chipotle look like a haven for vegans and children. Behold:

baconexplosion

2 pounds thick cut bacon
2 pounds Italian sausage
1 jar of your favorite barbeque sauce
1 jar of your favorite barbeque rub

Know Your Pig: Tokyo X & Super Golden

Posted in KNOW YOUR PIG, Pork, STUFF ABOUT MEAT, Tokyo X & Super Golden with tags on December 10, 2008 by chomposaurus

tokyox1
Recently, on iron chef (and by that I mean 10 years ago, but I still get excited watching reruns on cable), the tournament of iron chefs featured a battle between Iron Chef Chen (Chinese) and Iron Chef Kobe (Italian). The featured ingredient was Tokyo X, a kind of Japanese super-pork that is to pigs what Kobe beef is to cows, replacing Kurobuta pork at the top of the luxury food chain.

tokyox2
Further research indicates that Tokyo X has a competitor: Super Golden. Searching for Tokyo X is pretty difficult, given the amount of hentai that shows up. But I was able to find some pretty good information. Tokyo X Pigs were bred in the 90’s from three different breeds: Beijing Black, English Berkshire and Duroc. The million-dollar project was carried out by what is now the employer of my dreams, the Tokyo Metropolitan Livestock Experiment Station. Similarly, breeders developed Super Golden over the past half-century from lines of Large White, Landrace and Duroc pigs. The product: highly-marbled meat resulting in extreme tenderness. Taste and juiciness improved as well, but tenderness was what was truly prized.

Unfortunately, the english language WWW doesn’t contain many good descriptions of Tokyo X; the LA Times has a writeup here and there is a semi-official site with a good bit of engrish as well. If you know a good place to buy or try Tokyo-X, please leave a comment.

Chen won the battle, by the way. His Mapo Doufu (Spicy Tofu & Pork) looked delicious.

The Top Chef “Bacon is a Vegetable” Shirt

Posted in Pork, STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags , on December 5, 2008 by chomposaurus


Catching up on Top Chef this week (I missed last week’s during my preparation for the Thanksgiving face-stuffing), I noticed one contestant had a “Bacon is a Vegetable” shirt on. All should be encouraged to wear such fabulously paradoxical clothing, so you can purchase one at Diesel Sweeties. They also have the great bacon-toaster shirt pictured above.

Now that I’ve fully recovered from Thanksgiving, next week there will be a lot more meat on these pages.