Tuesday, March 25, 2008

About Us: His Take

She's right. We do love pork. And it goes back a long way for both of us. Ham steak was a staple when I was a little kid - one of the few things I would eat willingly, I guess. After that, sausage - I had the real privilege of growing up a block a way from a real live 2nd generation Italian butcher who made some of the greatest sweet and spicy sausages, real monsters at over a foot long per and thick as you want them.

The first dish I ever learned to make involved those sausages - and while fettuccine in butter sauce and grilled sausages isn't the most sophisticated dish ever, it was enough for a 10 year old to realize that he liked to cook. (And hey, it was good, I'd have a plate of that over a lot of other things I've eaten.) Later, I started eating another delicacy from this butcher: stuffed pork chops. These were big, thick chops with some really good stuffing stuck in there, the kind made from scratch with raw eggs and bread and yummy seasonings. It was a trick to cook these right - to get the stuffing warmed through and not end up with bone dry meat - but very much worth it.

It was around this time that I realized that a little pink in the pork* actually made it taste better, juicier, more... porky. And that's when the doors really started to open and I started an eating adventure that eventually led here.

I love this food. I really do. I hope that we're able to convey some of that joy as we work through these recipes. I hope that some readers (provided we get more than one) think that maybe they'll try something we've tried here. I definitely hope that some others decide to spring for the cookbook we're working from (it's worth every loony). But really, truly? I just want to make this food and eat it. I want to figure out the sourcing, the processes, and the little things that make this food so goooood. Sure, we're sharing it with you online, and we're sharing it with whatever friends come to help us eat it, but really there's nothing noble going on here: we just want to make it and eat it.

Now let's get started, shall we?

*Mandatory CYA: Fully 12 cases of trichinosis were reported last year in the US alone - and while these were mostly from bear meat, there was probably one of these that came from eating pork! Specifically, pork from a pig that was raised eating raw garbage. So if you think, or suspect, or imagine, that your pork provider is feeding his livestock raw garbage, then by all means cook that pork till white and dry. (Or consider paying a little more for better quality meat that wasn't raised eating garbage.)

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