For The Love of Pig
A few months ago, Anthony Bourdain did an episode on his No Reservations show about the Philippines. It was a great show – my heart swelled with pride seeing the close up, mouth-watering shots of locals foods. All at the same time I felt homesick, happy, and HUNGRY.
One thing that Mr. Bourdain and I have in common is our love of pig. I realized that I don’t cook pork as often as beef, chicken, and seafood, but mostly because the pork dishes I love are labor-intensive and frankly, I’m too lazy to make them. But watching Anthony Bourdain on that particular episode reminded me of what I am missing. On his blog, he says: “What we did get right, I’m quite sure, was making sure that the amazing, porky delights of “sisig” got plenty of camera time. If you’ve never had this divine mosaic of pig parts, chopped and served sizzling and crisp on one side on a screaming hot platter, then you’ve yet to have one of the world’s best beer drinking dishes. And speaking of pig? It can now be said that of all the whole roasted pigs I’ve had all over the world, the slow roasted lechon I had on Cebu was the best. This puts the standings in the Hierarchy of Pork as follows: #1. Philippines, #2. Bali, #3. Puerto Rico. If nothing else, I hope that homesick Filipinos living abroad get a glimpse of some of the food and scenery they’ve no doubt been missing.”
I certainly did, and he reminded me of my other favorite pork dishes as well: aside from the Philippine sisig and lechon, I love cochinillo (roasted suckling pig – smaller and cuter), porchetta sandwiches, prosciutto, any dish made with pork shoulder and pork belly, sausages, and of course – bacon. *excuse me while I wipe my salivating mouth*
Ask any foreigner or immigrant living in the US what they miss most about home, and the answers would most likely be family, friends, and food. I know a lot of people who have taken up cooking just to try and re-create the flavors of home. And there is a myriad of restaurant choices that serve international cuisines to satisfy both foreigners and locals! Unfortunately for me, there is not a lot of Filipino restaurants in Boston (I only know of one restaurant in Quincy) so I resort to my own cooking (not always the best option I must admit), or my friends and family. And every now and then, I chance upon a glorious article or dish or TV show that brings back memories of home and rekindles my love… of pig.
This post is dedidated to someone who loves pork (and eating) as much as (or maybe more than ) I do… Happy birthday to my favorite rockstar/ pimp/ party organizer/ eating partner/ musical genius/ teacher/ adopted brother/ my first and best Boston friend ever: GP! Let’s eat soon, Geeps!