Friday, August 21, 2009

France & Italy Redux- Pork Ribs

When Judy and I began this site a million years ago (ok, 2006) we were planning a piggy adventure for the Seattle IACP seminar with Fergus Henderson (see blog archives in sidebar). It was a way for us to organize the presentation and present supporting materials before the food world had adopted the e-way wholeheartedly. Fergus charmed us, taught us, and inspired us as well as the other 200 people in the room that day. The feeling was reciprocated. He said in his usual understated way, "It makes me a bit giddy. Why is everyone interested in me?" So I explained gently to him, "Fergus, here on Planet Food, you are a god, a maestro, a brave pioneer. And above all, food people are seeking 'The Way' in a too-virtual world. You offer them something visceral. Something they can hold. Smell. Eat. Digest. The nose-to-tail way of living.

And so it went all weekend that spring in 2006... pork, porc, maiale.
Now is the time to revisit what we were just exploring then. In the midst of a meat manifesto, a bacon explosion, a carniverous craving for flesh, bone and blood-- we return to honor Fergus Henderson's parting words, "Hug your butcher, please.'

From now until April 2010 when we return to the Northwest, this time to the IACP conference in Portland-Oregon- city of foodcart dreams and un-restaurants- we will be hugging our favorite Italian and French butchers as well as helping you learn about the Euro-way of pork butchery and curing. Charcuterie, recipes, portraits, pig lore, rare breeds, home butchery, and more to follow as we walk you through this oldworld pigearth where farmers are butchers, butchers are cooks and cooks are philosophers.

When I began this summer session of B&C (Butchery & Charcuterie) boot camp at the Kitchen-at-Camont I had no idea how deep we would go. Bone deep. I knew I was in trouble when I found myself seriously look at buying this for the workshops ...until I saw the price tag.

This week in honor of the last Summer weekends, we began at the inside, the structural key to loving the whole beast. The bone gnawing basics. The fatlicking fingers of tender meat. in other words...the ribs. Plain and simple. RIBS. Nothing spare about them.

Let's look at RIBS- neither acronym nor just a spare part, ribs are the very foundation on which we hang our bbq skills. Sticky. Sweet. Savory. Spicy.
Think again. Think the Italian way. What do Italians do with ribs? Where does the butcher cut them? Or in France, what are the natives doing with the stubby little ribs, just buying 3 or 4 at a time? Check in for the answer from divinacucina and katedecamont and their butcher friends, here on the Going Whole Hog Road Show- part 2.

And yes, we are twittering as divinacucina and katedecamont.

Merci to for the artwork.


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