Going Whole Hog
Surfing the internet the other day I came across a very interesting blog, Going Whole Hog. The more I explore this passion of barbeque, the more I am becoming interested in the whole food process.
Living in New York City, there is a huge disconnect from the farm to the table. I can't remember the last time I saw a side of beef or a hind quarter of a pig. Oh sure, there's the whole ducks and chickens hanging in the Chinese restaurant windows. And the tanks of fish and lobsters in the stores, but it's not the same as knowing the animal and participating in its life and death.
What does it take to raise the animal and to slaughter it? I don't know if I could slit a pig's throat and hold it down while it breathes its last. Would I be able to clean it? Would I be able to gather its blood for use in sausages? Would I then be able to eat the meat?
From what I've read and been told one finds a new respect and reverence for the meat once you're involved in the process. After slaughter, would I be so quick to dispose of the not so desirable parts of the animal or would I find ways to use them out of respect for the animal's sacrifice?
I'm not talking PETA tactics here folks, but a new found respect for the animal. I don't have any problem with animals being slaughtered for our use. But would I still agree once I participate in the animal's death?
I've cooked whole pigs. But it was delivered to me dead, cleaned and as a piece of meat.
I've gutted fish while they lived and dumped live lobsters into boiling water, but for some reason our four legged friends are different. I see I'm not alone with that - look at the terminology - four legged friends - I've never heard anyone refer to "our friend the tuna."
In Going Whole Hog, they explore the entire cycle of the pig, from the piglet to pork to sausage and barbecue ribs. (You pick your favorite dishes and I'll pick mine, thank you.) It's an amazing story and something I plan to explore further.