Pig Out

Here we were on the Upper Delaware, three hours north of New York City, and everyone seemed to be from Brooklyn or France.

It was the Pig Mountain festival in Narrowsburg, New York, just steps away from the Pennsylvania border.

signs

Main Street, where the festival took place, was indeed narrow, and it was pork-filled. Punk-inflected publicity promised 14 pigs and 14 chefs.

mini-3d2044e8453c9467256278f08dfde962

We got there just as it opened and within minutes the place was jammed with swine fanciers.

street scene

It was definitely after lunchtime and quite a bit before the usual dinner hour too, 4pm, a strange time to be diving into pig’s ears, julienned and fried and served atop a bed of parsley.

But when I saw the seriousness of the chef in his whites, I didn’t resist. Plus, they were serving aioli.

chef

And dishing up pungent kim chee as a side. It was as good as I’d hoped for my first Pig Mountain venture.

Everyone who paid admission received 10 tickets to spend on whatever cardboard boats of food they wanted. Tasting portions. Pig heads were everywhere.

pig burlap

There were a lot of dogs in the crowd, some of them picking fights, some waiting patiently for whatever pig scraps they might come across.

boxer

An outfit called PorcSalt Charcuterie out of Rosemont, New Jersey served up delectable chopped pork from a 190-pound pig that had been slow roasted, its bulk and burnished skin a centerpiece of the party. Chef Matthew Ridgway was the master carver.

Michael

Simple and fabulous, described as “pastrami pork,” topped with pickled red onions with a side of beets. Wow, they infuse that with something, said Gil. As the day went down, I passed by Matthew’s station several times on The Bloke, and saw that succulent bulk gradually diminish into a pile of bones.

pig bones

Sustainable. Local. Artisanal. That’s how PorcSalt bills itself, and to those modifiers all these gourmet gastronome locavore hipsters thronged. The lines, the hungry maws, stretched across the street and down the block. It was nice, because you could talk to your neighbors about the dishes they’d already consumed, compare notes.

Did I mention that there were heads everywhere?

head

Hipster chef fires blazed.

hipster chef

The Bloke and I caroused through the lines. The Bloke has a metal basket, an object of envy for the food plates I could pile within. You’re a strong woman, someone intelligently told me, eyeing my cast. Last year, the festival’s first, had been not as crowded, I was told, and there was a seating area as well. Next year they’ll have to hold the party in Widesburg.

People stood in the street, stuffing their faces.

asians

As long as you followed the rules you’d be okay.

rules

Vegetables had also been promised in the promotion for the feast, but about all I saw of that was a vintage sign on an empty old storefront.

vegetables

A happy crowd. The end of summer. Let’s never go home to the city. Is fall really at hand?

orange glasses

The street so nice and cool, shady and pork-fragrant.

smiley

Lots of footwear fashion going on.

striped

I probably noticed it more as I tried to sail through on the scooter without mashing any toes. Also I was wearing only one shoe myself.

webbed feet

Care for some Viennese Spice Rubbed Pork with Hoffbrau Summer Ale BBQ Sauce, Purple Kraut w/Fresh & Dried Plums, Potato Salad and a Soft Pretzel? You are in luck, my friend. Der Kommissar of Brooklyn is plating it up for you.

I made two trips to the booth set up by Alison 18, a restaurant off of Union Square in Manhattan. Chicharrones — light, crispy pork fat– slathered with a spicy cheese cream called sriracha, out of this world.

chicharrones

And, surprisingly scrumptious, pig fat oreos – rich chocolate wafers stuffed with a sweet, lard-enriched filling. You wouldn’t bet those would go down well, especially after all the pig of the day. But for the non-vegan folks in attendance – in other words, everyone – they were astonishing.

More please.

shiba

9 Comments

Filed under Jean Zimmerman

9 responses to “Pig Out

  1. Pingback: Thank You for Reading | Jean Zimmerman

  2. Thank you. I’ve got to get out more.

  3. Either one sounds pretty good when you’re dining on a river barge.

  4. That’s all been a big scientific misconception. Lard is actually medicinal.

  5. ANN HOFFER

    Chuckling about *waiting on line* … I grew up waiting **IN** line … why is that? I also grew up with roast pork, lots of it, well-done, no pink centers, and my father’s detailed stories about butchering the family pig every autumn. Anyway, I can almost smell the aromas of this event on that shady street in Narrowsburg. More please. Lovely!

  6. M.

    On our ship in Vienna, tonight’s main entree is pork neck. Or Blue Parrot (fish). The Blue Parrot sounds better to me, in a wok with veggies,

    M.

  7. Hack Attack

    What did Della wear? She wore a brand-new jersey.

  8. Gil Reavill

    The original Oreo recipe did indeed contain lard in the filling, and it was not switched to hydrogenated veggie oil until the 1990s. Out of the fry pan into the fire, as far as that goes, since both ingredients are hard on the human body.

  9. Andy

    If they are all from Brooklyn or France I guess that explains why nobody is fat.

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