Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Pork Butter Disagreement

Ok, the Foodspiration foodies are fighting...over pork butter. That's right, pork butter. Pork butter is the one of the new items at Boccalone, a salumeria in the San Francisco Ferry Building whose motto is Tasty Salted Pig Parts. Pork butter is the leftover renderings from lard manufacture (solid bits of meat, skin, etc.) that are blended with olive oil, rosemary, and garlic. They sell it for $5 dollars a pound and other foodies on the web are likening it to rillettes or French potted pork.

I first tried it spread on a piece of grilled crusty bread and thought it was really indulgent, but wonderfully flavorful with complex savory and meaty notes. Yum! It's nothing to look at as you can see from this photo and you really have to taste it to make your decision. I also like it because it is part of founder Chef Chris Cosentino's philosophy of using as much of the animal as possible-not letting anything to waste.

Then I took it home for Justin to try.

He felt differently.

And so I'll let him express his thoughts directly:

Holy EXPLETIVE. This was over the top. As a bratwurst eating boy from the Midwest, this even violated my pork eating sensibilities. I've been chased by an angry sow on Uncle Fred's farm and I'd love the sweet taste of revenge, but man . . . Maybe I've been in California a few months too long, but I preferred EVOO on the grilled bread. I can visualize the pork butter incorporated into a more complex dish in some general, abstract sense, but not alone.

So, there you have it. Pork butter--sustainably succulent or ridiculously indulgent? Have you tried it? We'd love for you to settle this argument for us!


Frankie B said...

OK, I told you this once, but I gotta say it again. If you add olive oil, rosemary, and garlic to pretty much anything, it's going to taste pretty good. I can't get past the other ingredient, which is lard byproduct. Think about that. It's what's left over after you make lard. At $5/pound, I wouldn't be surprised if "Boccolone" is really Italian for "Barnum".

Put down one vote for Justin, please. :-)

jen said...

as someone raised in Germany, I'm all for trying good Wuerstchen (sausage)and even leberwurst (liversausage) and blutwurst (blood sausage) but pig butter? ugh...gross. Justin, I'm with you on this one... icky. Give me chocolate anyday!!

Christopher Parsons said...

I got brought up knowing this as drippings, you can have it straight from the roasting pan hot on bread, or let it set and use it cold spread on toast like butter with the jelly from it on that, personally after working on a hog roast at christmas for a couple of years i prefer soaking a couple of bread cobs in it while hot

Rob Barron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob Barron said...

Sounds delicioso! However, I can here my arteries hardening just thinking about it.

There is a slightly healthier version, using braised pork butt and butter. Also very good and not quite as artery hardening.

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