I feel the same way about pig roasts that I do my morning run: I like the idea of it, but the execution is rarely so satisfying. My first pig roast happened when I was a senior in high school. As student body vice president, I was charged with turning the hulking porker on a spit set up on the football field for homecoming.
Although I never brought myself to taste the barbecue, I smelled like pig for a week. My second roast was even less appetizing. A college buddy bought a pig for our graduation party. When it was done, her uncle nearly mounted it as he pulled it apart on a picnic table. Bleccchhh.
So, imagine my delight when the pig roast I attended this weekend surpassed my admittedly low expectations. Marczyk Fine Foods’ hosted its annual roast on Saturday, slow cooking the hormone- and antibiotic-free porkers in huge metal drums overnight on 17th Avenue. The pigs came from a Niman Ranch farm, the same company that provides free-roaming swines to Chipotle restaurants nationwide.
And they were delicious, tender and smoky, with a drizzle of sweet sauce on top. It probably helped that I didn’t get intimate with the pig this time, though I did get a sneak peak at the leftover heads, shown above with Marczyk produce buyer Kevin Hickman. I walked home so full of barbecued loveliness that I couldn’t be rankled to enter my favorite veg-head restaurant up the street, WaterCourse Foods. Perhaps if they had their own seitan pig roast. But then again, nah.
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-- Naomi Zeveloff