Friday, December 23, 2011

Jonas Laberg's Marzipan Pig

Jonas Laberg has created this marzipan pig for the holidays, but even he thinks it "turned out a bit too evil-demon-from hell-y" to give to the little girls (five and seven years old) it was originally intended for. It's made of 10kg or marzipan. For more images and some fascinating discussion in the comments, see the creator's blog.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Swimming With Pigs in the Bahamas

I have occasionally blogged about swimming pigs, but they seem to be back in the news, as several colleagues sent me links to a recent video on Huffington Post about a beach known as "pig beach" on Big Major Spot Island. There were several 2009 articles about this phenomenon, including one in the Telegraph (here). The chance to swim with these pigs has proven so alluring that it is now included in official Bahamas tourism information (here) where this image appeared. If you'd like to see video, there are several YouTube options taken by vacationers staying at or near the the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, which is close to Big Major Cay in the Exumas. Check out this one (where the pigs are lured by the promise of apple cores) and this one in which the pigs swim out to a boat looking for food but are left to fend on their own. 


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Pig Wings?

Perhaps the perfect testimony to the transformation of modern pork is the "discovery" of the Pig Wing, a two-ounce piece of pork cut from the fibula of a ham shank. Once upon a time people presumably understood that a ham had a bone in it, one often used to flavor soups and stews once the ham was carved and eaten. But because consumers expressed a preference for the spiral-sliced and boneless hams that were marketed to them by the industry as more convenient meat, pork processors started removing the shank before processing, creating the possibility for the return of the repressed as a new product to market.
The food writer John T. Edge of, among other things, the Southern Foodways Alliance, wrote a great article on this development in his recent "United Tastes" column for The New York Times (here) on November 30th in the "Dining" section, where I learned that a big challenge has been coming up with a more pleasant sounding name for these ham shanks. Already in play are "pork hammers," "sluggers," squealers, and, of course, "Pig Wings." Look for them to perhaps be one of the breakthrough pork products in the next year or two.
I was particularly pleased with the illustration by Xaquín G.V. (above) that accompanied Edge's article, as it serves as a reminder that ham comes from pig, a point one wouldn't think would need to be made much anymore, but that given the incredible modern disconnection between our meat and its sources in living animals (a subject I discuss in both PIG and in my contribution to the special issue of Antennae on pigs, downloadable as a pdf here), perhaps this was indeed "news" to some folks.

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