Anger Burger

Good Things Come in Black and White Packages

Posted by Sunday on Jul 12, 2010 at 3:47 pm

The upside¹ of the hipstery food revolution taking place in America is that our produce is getting better.  Sort of.  I can’t walk into my local Ralph’s and find anything but fluffy, tasteless Chiquita Cavendish bananas.  I can, however, get 400 varieties of melon.  I can get grass-fed beef (and even bison!) but the pork still looks like fake meat sculpted from perfectly even, flesh-toned putty.

I think I pushed an old lady out of my way when I saw this at the Japanese market:

That, friends, is a Berkshire pork.  Until recently, no one but maybe a few British farmers knew what Berkshire pork was, and those farmers didn’t much care.  It was an old pig breed (apparently the oldest domesticated variety?) that slipped drastically out of favor.  It was too fatty!  Too fatty, my god.  The horror.  People are snapping out of it (in particular the Japanese) and recognizing that fattier meat means tastier meat.  I grabbed a package of pork belly and my god, was it delicious.  But as we stood in the kitchen prepping dinner, Mike looked at the above logo and said to me, “There’s something about that pig that makes me uncomfortable.”  It was a while before we realized why.

Oh no.

Yep, that’s it.

¹ Downside: the farmer’s market is way too fucking crowded with double-wide strollers and screaming toddlers reaching for $6 punnets of organic strawberries.

July 12th, 2010 | Obsessed, Totally Unrelated

9 Responses to Good Things Come in Black and White Packages

  1. Carrie Anne says:

    Berkshire pork?? I have the jealousies right now. OMFG.

  2. Kate says:

    I think I’ve mentioned this to you, but I read a lengthy article about pork in some magazine…nothing hippy, but I don’t remember where…in which I learned that the good American pork is all sold to Asia. What you get at the supermarket literally has poor cellular integrity because of the way pigs are raised here. Have you tried the Oyster Bay Farm pork in Oly (at the market)? They have pastured beef, chicken and will have eggs, too. The meat looks, uh, good? When it doesn’t make me retch?

    Personally, the only reason I’m keeping dogs is so that I can eat them when food is scarce. The money I spend on them is an investment in strategic meat reserves, a key part of my Apocalypse plan.

  3. helen says:

    I reckon your dog would taste a little stringy. Im british and have never heard of this pork so I looked it up on good old wikipedia and apparently there are only 300 breeding females left (or maybe 299 now? -what did you cook with your piggy?) and they live down the road from me in Kent at a rare breeds centre.
    Def not a place to visit if you are ever in Kent, full of chavs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chav) and a few yummy mummy types with their double buggies. In fact dont visit Kent ever really unless you are really in to rare pigs.

  4. helen says:

    Oh yeah the yummy mummys I mean are not the wikipedia version they are this version http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article1271972.ece Kind of similar to the ones at the farmers market maybe? Love your blog BTW

  5. Not to be a rain cloud, but are you sure this isn’t Berkshire Pork in the same way it isn’t really Black Angus Beef? I’m sure it’s real, though. LOL

    Kate, the article you mention sounds like the one from Harper’s a while back.

  6. Sunday says:

    Kate: You did mention this before, but I’d like to read more about it. I’m going to look for it online. And no, I didn’t know there was natural local pork in Oly, I’m definitely going to have to find some next time I’m up there.

    Helen: The Wikipedia article on Berk pigs says there are as few as 300 pigs in New Zealand, but there seems to be more recent information that there are probably less than that. On the other hand, there are quite a few active farms in the US that breed Berks just for the Japanese market. All of them say that they’ve only just recently even had folks asking for it in US, but it’s totally increasing. From my understanding, America is the largest Berkshire producer in the world right now.

    And! I am familiar with yummy mummys, though not actually in England. In New Zealand. And in America. So yes: the same ones that are in the farmer’s markets.

    Catastro: Ha! You’re such a downer. Well, I checked online and Six Point Berkshires are definitely producers of 100% purebred Berkshire. So there!

  7. Kate says:

    Catatafish: It was totally the Harper’s piece! I’d have never found that, thanks.

    Helen: I’ve spent roughly 2 months in England, all of it in Liverpool, in a row house just outside of Everton FC’s home ground. Chavs galore, although my mother in law called them “yobbos”. No yummy mummy’s though, just foul-mouthed teen mums pushing third-generation prams onto the bus.

  8. helen says:

    Kate: Ha ha, I could not of put it better myself describing the green green grass of home. Half my family is scouse so I have also have had the pleasure of visiting the pool many times. Pretty much the same everywhere really.
    I want to try some of this lovely pork, if I ever find it I prob swear loudly about the price of it then go and buy some crappy saline filled imported meat from my local Morrisons

  9. Clair says:

    Giggle giggle giggle giggle snort giggle! We used to call my ex’s (now passed on) Boston “das Ferkel” in German–little piglet.

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