Wednesday, 21 November 2012

In Praise of Pig

I recently spent a very entertaining few hours discussing Chinese tea and planning a perfect dinner, a key part of which would be pork in all forms but especially  barbecued pork (cha siu) and suckling pig. I was reminded of Charles Lamb's extremely elegant "Dissertation Upon Roast Pig" from his Essays of Elia which contains the following memorable description.

"There is no flavour comparable, I will contend, to that of the crisp, tawny, well-watched, not over-roasted, cracking, as tis well called - the very teeth are invited to their share of the pleasure of this banquet in overcoming the coy, brittle resistance - with the adhesive oleaginous - O call it not fat -  but an indefinable sweetness growing up to it - the tender blossoming of fat - fat cropped in the bud- taken in the shoot- in the first innocence - the cream and quintessence of the child-pig's yet pure food - the lean, no lean, but a kind of animal manna, or, rather fat and lean (if it must be so) so blended and running into each other, that both together make but one ambrosian result of common substance."

Excessive perhaps? We have Ode to a Haggis, this is Praise of the Pig!

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