Pig Island Preview

I like pig.  Do you like pig?

Pig Island is coming up, which means Veritasty is about to hit its first birthday!  Pig Island is an annual outdoor food extravaganza on Governor's Island.  It features pig, and lots of it: locally farm-raised pigs prepared in a vast variety of ways by local restauranteurs.  There is an emphasis on cooking all parts of the animal, snout to tail.  I've recently been watching Bizarre Foods and No Reservations, so I've seen just how many ways you can prepare a given animal, and just how many parts are edible.  Even the funny bits that Westerners might never consider palatable can be delicacies in other places (I am a big fan of chicken feet, oxtails, pig stomach, and tripe, for starters).

But let's bring it back to the pig.  It's a creature unfortunately seen as "unclean" by practitioners of some religions.  I was embarrassed to tell my Orthodox Jewish boss that I was going to Pig Island, but she admitted that before becoming religious, she used to love pork as much as the next person.  I have a Muslim friend who ate a BLT sandwich and loved it...only to spit it out when someone said he was unknowingly eating bacon.  Conclusion?  Everyone likes pig!

I was already looking forward to Pig Island, but to drum up even more excitement, the organizers hosted a preview party at Palo Santo.  Palo Santo and its chef, Jacques Gautier, are participating, as are Seth Harkazy and his peers at the Waterfront Ale House.

Jacques and Seth talking about sauce

Together, we had a little pulled-pork-taco-homemade-barbecue-sauce tasting!  The hunk of pork that Jacques prepared was amazing: dry rubbed and slow cooked until it absolutely fell apart with the touch of tongs.  I topped freshly made tortillas with shreds of pork and then made a little artist's palate of BBQ sauces.  The BBQ sauces were prepared by other guests and were spectacular.  They need to bottle some of that stuff up!  Most memorable was the strawBBQ sauce (can you guess why?) and the Asian-styled hoisin BBQ sauce.  Mm, mm good!  My only wish was that I'd known these recipes and uniquely creative ideas before the almost-end-of-summer...

I can't wait for all the pigs next weekend, and I hope to see you on the island!!