Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thanks Herb!

I finished the cured Mangalitsa shoulder that Herb Eckhouse sent me yesterday. There might be a few grams more of cured meat and fat on that thing, but I didn't want to risk cutting myself to get it.

It was delicious. The fat was like lardo. The cured meat was an umami-bomb.

My favorite part of the shoulder was the shank. I used a very sharp knife to remove the meat off the bone near the hoof. After cutting out the sinew I was able to enjoy some very delicate meat. I cut that into paper thin slices and ate it piece by piece. The texture is great - they are stiff and a bit chewy but still yielding.

This stuff isn't for everyone. One acquaintance that I shared a piece with remarked that it tasted plain. Apparently the jerky-like texture fooled her; she was expecting it to taste peppery. She didn't appreciate it at all.

This experience reminded me of the first time I ate cured pork products in Spain, while switching planes. I had never eaten cured pork products that weren't spiced or smoked. At first they tasted odd. The more I ate them, the more I liked them. Later I ate products made with spices and felt they were over-spiced.

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