Today marked my twelfth day in Turkey and, needless to say, I am in the throes of pork withdrawal. I haven’t been completely abstinent, mind you. There was that Iberian ham and the fennel-rich salami I smuggled in with me. And then there was the guanciale Şemsa sprinkled over the Pazılı Çılbır at dinner last week. But I’m nowhere near my average daily consumption, which, to be quite honest, has been quite a disgusting amount lately. This fall was particularly porky, owing a visit to Speckfest in Alto Adige, a trip to Barcelona where many a plate of jamon iberco de bellota were consumed, a near pure guanciale diet one week in November, and a general, unrelenting obsession with carbonara, amatriciana and gricia. I thought reflecting on some of the best pork moments of this year might help me cope until I am back in the land of porky goodness. Here’s hoping!
Gilles Verot’s Charcuterie at Bar Boulud, London.
Pig’s head soup with cotechino-stuffed smoked morels, crispy pancetta, ciccioli (compressed pork fat nuggets), fregola (a sort of grated pasta), coriander and Matera chilis at Osteria Francescana, Modena. So much pork, it should be illegal. I thought this slick and fatty soup would be my last meal. I would have been ok with that.