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Pig Perfect: Encounters with Remarkable Swine and Some Great Ways to Cook Them

Overview

What Bill Bryson did for trees and walking shoes and Mark Kurlansky did for cod, Peter Kaminsky now does for pork in Pig Perfect

"I love ham and I love this book." —Annie Dillard

Do you crave a juicy pork chop? An old-time country ham? Or maybe some Southern-style barbecue? Then you'll want to join Peter Kaminsky on his pilgrimage in search of the perfect pig.

Part travelogue, part cookbook, part naturalist's encounter, and part love letter, ...

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Overview

What Bill Bryson did for trees and walking shoes and Mark Kurlansky did for cod, Peter Kaminsky now does for pork in Pig Perfect

"I love ham and I love this book." —Annie Dillard

Do you crave a juicy pork chop? An old-time country ham? Or maybe some Southern-style barbecue? Then you'll want to join Peter Kaminsky on his pilgrimage in search of the perfect pig.

Part travelogue, part cookbook, part naturalist's encounter, and part love letter, Kaminsky's book takes us from Kentucky, Burgundy, and Madrid to the Yucatán and back to Brooklyn to tell the tale of the pig. From the wondrous techniques of tailgate chefs to Mayan home cooking, competitive barbecuing, and the ancient rite of the pig killing that has bound communities together over the centuries, Pig Perfect brings together an oddball pork-loving band of chefs, farmers, and food lovers and offers a tasty history of the oft underappreciated pig.

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Editorial Reviews

Men's Journal
"Consider a bib - this is drool-inducing reading."
Publishers Weekly
In this sprawling love letter to hogdom, hamthropologist and food and fly fishing writer Kaminsky takes readers to France and Spain as well as to such American cities as Memphis, Louisville and Des Moines to visit a broad variety of pork-related venues. He waxes ecstatic about long-aged country ham and laments today's leaner, less flavorful meat. He seeks out a pig slaughter, considers why pork is taboo to Jews and Muslims, and excoriates the brutality and environmental damage wreaked by hog factories. Kaminsky (The Moon Pulled Up an Acre of Bass) celebrates family farmers who give their pigs freedom in the field, offer them natural foods and produce a far better pork. The author's enthusiasm is infectious, but since he races all over the map, the chatty accounts of his various adventures and the people he meets along the way are often fleeting as well. The narrative is, however, generously embellished with dozens of facts about pigs (such as the staggering statistic that about 350,000 U.S. hogs are slaughtered every week). Nine recipes, ranging from Country Ham Braised in Cider and Molasses to Emile and Rachel's Roast Loin of Pork with Greens and Cantaloupe, are scattered throughout to honor the oinker itself. Agent, Lisa Queen at IMG. (May 11) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Kaminsky, an award-winning writer of numerous articles for Field & Stream, Food & Wine, and Outdoor Life magazines and currently a columnist for the New York Times, is a lifelong lover of ham; this is his culinary search for the best pork. He travels from Kentucky to Madrid to Brooklyn, NY, regaling readers with stories and mouth-watering recipes (e.g., Porchetta, Burgundy Style). Meanwhile, Kaminsky reveals a disquieting fact: the industry has changed processing procedures to market large quantities-the end result of which has only compromised flavor and our health. Kaminsky's passion and love of pork is reminiscent of Peter Mayle's fervor for food and the south of France (see A Year in Provence). For those who enjoy food literature and cooking, this work is an ideal escape; it will inspire creativity in your kitchen, as well as have you embarking on your own pork adventure! For all collections.-Jennifer A. Wickes, Suite101.com, Pine Beach, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401300364
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 5/11/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Kaminsky is the author of numerous books, including The Moon Pulled Up an Acre of Bass, Pig Perfect, and The Elements of Taste. He was formerly New York magazine's "Underground Gourmet," and his Outdoors column runs regularly in the New York Times. His work has appeared frequently in Food & Wine and Field & Stream, and he was managing editor of National Lampoon. He lives in Brooklyn.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments XI
Part 1 A Passion for Pork 1
1 A Pig's Progress 3
2 The Ham Maker's Daughter 13
Recipe: Country Ham Braised in Cider and Molasses 24
Part 2 A Pork Pilgrimage 27
3 The Blessings of Rot 29
Recipe: Porchetta, Burgundy and Brooklyn Style 38
4 Rebirth 41
Recipe: Pot-Roasted Pork with Prunes, Armagnac, and Walnuts 52
5 A Brief History of Pigkind 55
6 Prisoner of Love 63
7 Invitation to a Killing 71
Recipe: Pork Tenderloin with Aracena Whiskey Sauce 76
8 From Pig to Pork 79
Recipe: Cocido, Extremadura Style 84
9 In the Land of Singing Ham 89
Recipe: Suckling Pig Braised in Sherry, White Wine, Aromatic Spices, and Herbs 97
10 Mother Nature, Father Oak 101
11 Taboo! 117
Part 3 A Further Pig's Progress 127
12 A Vanishing Breed 129
13 Ossabaw 135
14 Home Again 153
15 Why Pork Tastes Good and Ham Tastes Great 157
Part 4 Smoke and Fire 169
16 The Horsepower of Prayer 171
17 Mayan Treasure 175
Recipe: Cochinita Pibil 180
18 Competition 'Cue 185
19 Cheer Up, Mama 193
Recipe: Richie's Ribs 209
Part 5 The Good, the Bad, and the Tasty 211
20 Supermom 213
21 Another Good Thing About Olive Oil 219
Recipe: Emile and Rachel's Roast Loin of Pork with Greens and Cantaloupe 223
22 The Pr Guys 227
23 Pig Imperfect 233
24 Country People 249
25 The Good Farmer 257
26 Last Helpings 275
Selected Readings 283
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