Bourdain is waiting at the appointed rendezvous in the Nevada dessert. I’m in a 1970 Olds Cutlass “acquired” for me by a Vegas associate. I didn’t ask questions. Bourdain against the arid landscape is a sight that fills me with a mixture of excitement and fear (but not loathing). He and the intrepid Zero Point Zero production team have brought me here to help Tony explore different sides of this morass of humanity—more precisely, those who serve that morass. But Bourdain has a penchant for getting me into trouble. Carol Blymire texted that she has bail money ready, say the word. Remember, I had to make a quick getaway in the “No Reservations” Las Vegas episode, for those who missed that one. But Tony’s here to explore different sides of Vegas, ones less often covered. I Read On »

Share

A brief history of the fish taco and where the best places to get them in Baja, via WSJ.

Share

Christoph Wiesner, the Austrian butcher who raises Mangalitsa, is always tense before the kill. Last year, he told me, yes, he was nervous because it wasn’t his pig, the pig didn’t know him, he couldn’t know what the pig would do. Under normal circumstances the pigs have spent their lives with him and the week before they are done in, he brings the captive bolt, the stunning device, into pens so the pigs are used to even that. The pigs are calm throughout. This year, at Pigstock in Traverse City, MI, Christoph was not only unfamiliar to the pig, he was miked so that his every word echoed through speakers. Furthermore our crowd gathered around to witness the kill. Our Mangalitsa was clearly thinking “This can’t be good.” But it was over quickly (the full video is at the end Read On »

Share

A quick synopsis of the everpopular pig celebration: Pigstock, via Traverse City Record Eagle.

Share

Wrapping up three great days of Pigstock in Traverse City, MI, and I’ll write more about it, but had to quickly share the astonishing differences in breeds of hogs, and most important, the difference between a factory-farmed pig and a properly raised pig. Above Brian Polcyn shows four different breeds. On the left is the belly of a factory-farmed pig, breed not known. Notice how diminutive it is, how little fat is on that loin, which I guarantee tastes like cardboard when cooked. Compare it to the one he’s holding up, a farm-raised Berkshire-Duroc mix. When you buy the one on the left, not only will it not be a pleasure to cook and eat, you have cast a vote for more just like it. When you buy a belly from a farm-raised Berkshire, you Read On »

Share