Chef Joey Letchinger recently called me to buy some cheeks.
He was looking for something to serve to the investors in his new restaurant. He'd called a few of our distributors and not been able to get service.
I love that when guys need to really impress people, they want to use our Mangalitsa. It is unfortunate when, for one reason or another, our distributors aren't able to serve them and a customer has to call me personally - but I always try to be helpful.
I explained that supplies of cheeks are tight, but that we could get him skirts, if he called our processor directly and ordered them (from Pam).
Skirts are the diaphragm muscle. They get used constantly, so the meat is red and flavorful. It is a little more fatty than the "cheeks" (more correctly "jaw muscles" aka "masseter"), which are similarly red and flavorful.
Skirts are a funny cut. On a pig, they make up a very small fraction of the carcass. We can probably serve one or two chefs at the most. My job is to find a chef who will buy them and appreciate them.
Apparently the skirts were a success. Joey, despite being very busy, was kind enough to send me an email:
... After our discussion, I chose to use the Mangalitsa Skirts. They were truly divine and unmatched by anything I have ever had. I used them to make a sous-vide and seared Mangalitsa skirt on top of Fried lentils garnished with micro bulls blood and micro red mustard cress, it was all sauced with a mustard and chinese five spice sauce. Truly divine, I cannot wait to place my next order.
It is nice when people trust me and things work out well.