Going with the Whole Hog and Heritage Pork

Many chefs are now starting to make their own patés, cure their own meats, and craft other types of charcuterie. These chefs are part of a new movement that's aligned against waste and in favor of using all parts of an animal. Using whole animals sourced from local farmers takes extra effort, but as with other locally produced food, many chefs say it’s worth it. There is also a growing demand to put humanely raised, heritage breeds of pork on restaurant menus. Here are some particularly savory articles about going “whole hog’ along with articles that focus on the great flavor of traditional (pre-industrial) pork breeds.

"Going Whole Hog" Carol Ness, San Francisco Chronicle
Includes a glossary of Italian preserved meats, how to serve and store salumi and then purchase the ultimate slicing machines. The food section of this newspaper serves a very food savvy population; look to California for compelling culinary trends.
Going Whole Hog

“Belly Up” Jan Greenberg, ACF Online Resources
How chefs from around the country are using uncured whole pork belly.
Belly Up

“Charcuterie” Clare Leschin-Hoar, Edible Boston
112 kb PDF, 2 pages
A fine example of the type of writing you can find in one of the Edible community magazines devoted to local food.

"The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating" reviewed by Kevin Schoeler, The Food Paper
Fergus Henderson, the man responsible for bringing offal out of the abattoir and onto white tablecloths everywhere is a London chef whose proselytizing about the gustatory pleasures of brined pork belly and roast bone marrow salad has earned him cult status among chefs on both sides of the Atlantic. Here is a concise, well written cookbook review of Henderson’s culinary classic.
The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating

“Taste of Tradition” Joan Lang, Flavor & The Menu
This document takes a look at why chefs are seeking heritage pork breeds for their menus, describes efforts to save heritage livestock breeds from extinction and cites examples of farmer chef collaborations that have developed from the heritage-breed movement.
300kb PDF

“Heritage Pork” Dara Moskowitz, USA Today
A handy snapshot of the renaissance of older pork breeds along with a quick taste guide to several flavorful swine breeds.
Heritage Pork

“Where the Belly Meets the Plate” John Martin Taylor, Washington Post
Not a description of lawmaker dining, but rather a fine piece of journalism that focuses on the financial rationale for purchasing whole animals and the flavor dividends that accrue from heritage hogs.
Where the Belly Meets the Plate