Where has all the pork gone?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by midwestmatt, May 24, 2010.

  1. midwestmatt

    midwestmatt

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    Hello Fellow Food Connoisseurs!

    We live in a culinary world where the primary meats are steak, chicken, or seafood.  Per my general observation and patronism at a variety of local restaurants (and even on family dinner tables), pork just does not seem as prevalent on the menu as it once used to be. 

    What are your thoughts on pork, and why could this be? 
     
  2. blueicus

    blueicus

    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    13
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    I love pork, honestly... but being of Chinese descent it's pretty much the default meat in the household and at restaurants.
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I LOVE pork as well. Pork of old times was raised to be very fatty because we had many uses for the lard. (non culinary) Pork today is extremely lean, which is a crying shame. It is actually a healthy choice, but the idea of lard pigs tarnishes that idea... for the pork lovers, its just dry or not quite as flavorful. I think the dried out pork chops served in most homes makes people have a bad idea of pork and pork belly is just too exotic for most people... despite the fact it is eaten by everybody daily in bacon form. It can also smell, so I'm sure that is another deterrant.

    I tend to cook pork with moist heat methods. Usually, I utilize wine to not only flavor, but remove that off smell. I have served pork on numerous occasions and gotten rave reviews, so I think it is more a matter of people not willing to try. It is also because pork is not usually prepared right. I am guilty of passing up pork on a menu as well... because it tends to come out dry. At home, I cook pork more often than anything.
     
  4. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    129
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    Must be a local thing, MidwestMatt. Pork is still featured on most restaurants in the South, and in other parts of the country as well.
     
  5. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    67
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    Come to St Louis, we consume vast quantities of great pork.....a high % of events I cater include local pork.   Natives even have a "pork steak cut" which is a bonein shoulder steak.....waste of good shoulder in my opinion but then I'm partial to pulled pork.

    Pix of piggies are in the photo album....there's 1/2 of a 400# tammworth sow....beautiful thing.
     
  6. halmstad

    halmstad

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    24
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    pork is still widely available in the south, but typically in the same lean fashion as anywhere else in the u.s. thanks to our large pork producing companies. you can find delicious fatty locally farm raised pork. try farmers markets or push comes to shove, the internet. good pork is available. you just have to look for it.

    i am a pork lover and feel your pain. it's hard to come by a good braised pork shank or trotter, a well marbled pork chop or even decent, non supermarket bacon. beautiful "porky" pork is out there though.
     
  7. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Here in Florida I have no problem buying good pork either on a wholesale or retail level. You just have to know what to look for, and be careful where you buy it.
     
  8. chefboyarg

    chefboyarg

    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    17
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Man I just got some BBQ pork in Chinatown last night. I usually crush the whole pound in one sitting and am lucky if I have enough restraint to not eat it all before the rice is finished cooking. Though I may not have Michael Symon-esque zeal for pork I would say i love it. From the cheeks to the yummy belly to the hams and terrines and headcheese. Oh momma.
     
  9. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Pork is making a huge comeback, especially in the midwest, but all over the place.  More places are making their own charcuterie, etc, than have in a loooooooooooooooooong time.  Plus, with quality pork being more and more available, people are learning to cook it.  5 years ago, my little town grocery had only pork chops and ham.  Last week I went in, and there were nearly as many cuts of pork products as there were of beef.  Methinks it's just a local thing for you, Matt.  Where are you?  I'm in Chicago and Indiana.
     
  10. chef tomain

    chef tomain Banned

    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    13
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    Where in florida is best place to buy wholesale pork?
     
  11. chef john

    chef john

    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Pork is starting to make a comeback for a lot of reasons.

    As another poster mentioned, pork was bread to be lean to meet the demand of health conscious consumers. But, we all know it is dry and tastes  nasty.

    Pork is now being bred for fat content ( Berkshire hogs and others) to get back into culinary good graces.

    About time.

    Also it is less expensive than most red meat, so it is quite economical in the current economy.

    Finally, I think it is a regional thing. I worked in L.A. in the '80's and never served pork for years. I go to Chicago and Milwaukee and  I'm serving pork wrapped in bacon sauteed with braised pigs feet, for Christ's sake.

    I love the Berkshire hogs, expensive, but marbled and delicious.