On our crusade for pork this week, my boyfriend and I decided to try our luck for some pork belly at the Essex Street Market.
Unfortunately, we didn’t find our pork belly, but we did manage to find some BACON CANDY!
With it being early in the morning and all, we decided to bypass, but next time, we will have to try out some chocolate pig candy. I really love the Essex Street Market. They have so much awesome local produce to choose from, it’s really like being a kid in a really healthy candy store. The meat counters have a ton of stuff that you could only dream about. And, with this blog being all about pork this week, how could I not post another photo of something that I’ve eaten before and yet, gets over looked so many times?
Pig Feet! I had it once in Switzerland. It was like eating a fatty gelatinous foot. Wasn’t really my thing, but I’m glad I’ve tried it…and in a place that was all about having local inspired dishes.
It was a lovely day, so a jaunt across the Williamsburg Bridge was in order. I’m always amazed at how close everything actually is to me since I live in the East Village. I was excited to show my boyfriend the store Whisk that is my new favorite kitchen shopping spot EVER. It’s also the place where I bought my jars of Bacon Marmalade (more on that in a bit). Going into a place like Whisk is seriously dangerous for someone like me. Of course stuff was bought and I had to get out of there before my checking account went into negative numbers. We got a nice blue glass bottle for water (so pretty!) and some Peychaud’s bitter for our ever growing cocktail collection. It’s really nice to know that we can get a ton of different kinds of bitters there since they can be tricky to find.
Feeling inspired to try and cook something this weekend (and keep with our pork theme), we took a short ride on the L train to the Union Square Green Market. Unfortunately, since it’s the beginning of the season, there were slim pickings (that and we probably should’ve gotten there at 6 a.m. to really find the good stuff.) One saving grace was Whole Foods which is right next door. We were able to find some pork belly and chops. Dinner for tonight!
After getting home, I was a bit peckish. Having had some bacon marmalade the night before on a bun with a turkey burger, I needed to have another fix. This stuff, and I kid you not, is so great. It will literally take the place of any condiment that you would use on an ordinary sandwich.
I would really be lying if I said I wasn’t now addicted to the stuff. It’s a perfect combination of salty, smokey and sweet flavor. The brown sugar just gives it that little kick to make it stand out from it being a regular bacon spread (if that even exists?). My boyfriend was a skeptic, and so was I when the nice cashier at Whisk told me it would change my life. I am now a believer. My boyfriend took a bite, closed his eyes, opened them and proceeded to say, “wow…that’s #$%#$@ GOOD.” It’s really nice to see the fast notoriety this product is getting. It supports a local farm in Pennsylvania and also supports a local chef and his partner from Brooklyn. Win-win in my book. I bought two jars of the stuff and was afraid that maybe I was in over my head. But now, I’m glad I did. I’m planning on meeting the inventors at the Hester Street Fair next month and just to check out the fair in general. If you want to see a video of how it’s made, here’s a great one from Food Curated:
It’s really amazing how much bacon has become this crazy phenomenon. I know recently, the Brooklyn Brewery successfully crafted some bacon beer. Imagine! Of course, it’s not ready for the public (mainly because of the tedious process of making it), but was paired with a special tasting menu that Per Se, one of the most expensive restaurants in NYC (if not THE most expensive one) was having (Thomas Keller ROCKS!). Actually, I found the article courtesy of Grub Street: http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2009/09/bacon_beer_becomes_a_reality_b.html.
Tonight, we’re attempting to make some Asian-inspired crispy pork belly.
Thus, the baconing continues.