Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Golden Pig (With a Nod to Apulieus)


Save the oyster, which cannot change, cannot be cooked and is always eaten raw, most foodstuffs are mutable. Corn can become tortillas while a cattle may slip its identity as a hulking quadrupedal mammal and assume the form of scotch broth, hamburger, the Kosher hot dog and a myriad iterations of roasts and grillades.

But if each thing can become many other things, that which each is fated to become is limited in number and expression by the essence that is at once its life force, its will and its nature. Things can only become what their essence allows them to become, and no more and no less than that.

The essence of the nature of a chicken limits what it may become to a such things as cutlets, roasts and the chicken of General Tso. But a chicken can never become a hamburger, for that is for the cattle to be -as demanded by its essence. And such is the essence of the nature of the lamb that it cannot become tofu, or ice cream, but will with alacrity assume the identity of the souvlaki or the boned-rolled-and-tied roast.

The pig too is transmogrified, and will with proper coaxing become sausage, bacon and salami. There is no other organism that is considered to be proper food for man whose metamorphosis can lead it to become these things. Only the pig can, through the will of its essence, become these things.

So give it the frak up people.

However hard we try to coax something other than a pig to become sausage, bacon or salami, we will always fail , because these facies are reserved for the pig.

OK, the goofy rhetoric is over. I hope I did not make a golden ass of myself. But if I did, I chose to do it, so that's cool -I hope.

See some of what our pigs became over the past few weeks as they changed from Berkshire hogs to salumi. All of the pancetta (60 pounds of it!) cured for two weeks, and was hung on Saturday (11/8). The lardo cured for ten days and was hung at the same time. The Tuscan salami has been drying for almost two weeks and you see the orange cardamom salami hanging on the first day after it emerged from a day on racks in a warm room to "kick start" the nitrate reducing and fermentation bacteria.

Correction
A couple of astute readers noted that I had bone-headedly (my dis, not their's) hung the lardo in an area where it was likely to be oxidized by light. ( I knew better but forgot.) I have since moved it to a very dark corner of the aging room. My gratitude to Andrew Little and Jeff Price is commensurate to my chagrin.

10 comments:

Maura said...

The pig too is transmogrified, and will with proper coaxing become sausage, bacon and salami. There is no other organism that is considered to be proper food for man whose metamorphosis can lead it to become these things. Only the pig can, through the will of its essence, become these things.

Dear Friends Who Say They Love Food: Please stop serving me chicken sausage. It's not sausage, and it's not good.

Tags said...

I believe the technical term is golden-ass pig.

And there is no other animal you can render leaf lard from to make the most sumptuous pie dough (provided you add a little butter.)

Michael Greenberg said...

While I agree that the pig is the apotheosis of the sausage (and vice versa), it's ironic that one of the pictures in the slideshow has the venison bombe in the background...

ntsc said...

Edna Lewis would certainly disagree that the oyster can only be eaten raw. Pan-roast, stew and Rockefeller all quickly come to mind.

While I would agree that only the pig can produce bacon, many other animals lend themselves quite happily to sausage.

I've done a turkey/dried cranberry, a Hungarian salami that was 40% beef, a chicken/basil/sundried tomato and a Pepperone that was all beef - all stolen from Charcuterie, OK it is supposed to be turkey dried cherries - but the store didn't have those and it was Thanksgiving.

And the CIA course for civilians on sausage making includes a lamb sausage.

I don't think we have purchased sausage since my wife made the error of givining me Charcuterie.

Bob del Grosso said...

ntsc
There is a big tongue in the cheek of this post. And worse, it violates the cardinal law of the blog which states that all posts must reflect obvious and personal opinions.

With that line about the oysters (and the entire post really) I was lampooning those who say that certain things can only be prepared in specific ways.

Sorry if I did not make that clear.

Gabe said...

Where is that piggy going to market? Anywhere in Philly? I would love to try the pancetta and orange-cardamom salami.

By the way, your Telford Tomme is a terrific cheese... we got a hunk in our CSA share from Greensgrow, and I went back for a few more at Fair Foods in RTM. Great work. Thanks--

Bob del Grosso said...

Gabe
We don't ship any of the charcuterie or meat. Its all only available at the farm. The Tuscan salami should be rip by Thursday of next week, the orange cardamom two weeks after that.

Thanks for the kind words!

Jon in Albany said...

Not sure what the etiquette is for putting links to other blogs is, but the new Sky Full of Bacon video is up. I heard about the site on Ruhlman's blog when there was a movie about making head cheese.

The new film is part 1 of 2 and follows some pigs from birth to the table. If you have a free 20 minutes, I'd recommend it. Here's the link:

http://skyfullofbacon.com/blog/

juanrock said...

I'm fortunate to live close to Hendricks Farm. Yesterday I stopped in and bought some things, including the orange cardamom salami.
I can say, without exaggeration, that it is one of the finest salamis I have ever tasted.
Absolutely fantastic Bob.
Cheers.

Bob del Grosso said...

juanrock

Thank you.