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Pig Perfect: Encounters with Remarkable Swine and Some Great Ways to Cook Them Hardcover – May 11, 2005
100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating & Drinking
If you want to make an authentic tagine, bake mouth-watering cakes, or vicariously experience the life of a chef, you’ll find the book for it on this list.
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From Publishers Weekly
In this sprawling love letter to hogdom, "hamthropologist" and food and fly fishing writer Kaminsky takes readers to France and Spain as well as to such American cities as Memphis, Louisville and Des Moines to visit a broad variety of pork-related venues. He waxes ecstatic about long-aged country ham and laments today's leaner, less flavorful meat. He seeks out a pig slaughter, considers why pork is taboo to Jews and Muslims, and excoriates the brutality and environmental damage wreaked by hog factories. Kaminsky (The Moon Pulled Up an Acre of Bass) celebrates family farmers who give their pigs freedom in the field, offer them natural foods and produce a far better pork. The author's enthusiasm is infectious, but since he races all over the map, the chatty accounts of his various adventures and the people he meets along the way are often fleeting as well. The narrative is, however, generously embellished with dozens of facts about pigs (such as the staggering statistic that about 350,000 U.S. hogs are slaughtered every week). Nine recipes, ranging from Country Ham Braised in Cider and Molasses to Emile and Rachel's Roast Loin of Pork with Greens and Cantaloupe, are scattered throughout to honor the oinker itself. Agent, Lisa Queen at IMG. (May 11)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From The New Yorker
In this memoirish account of pork production and consumption, the self-described "hamthropologist" Peter Kaminsky searches for the perfect swine. Cherishing memories of his grandma's boiled ham, Kaminsky travels extensively, from the foothills of the Pyrenees to rural Missouri. He examines pigs from historical, religious, and ecological viewpoints, veering into impassioned, if rudimentary, discussions of their role in everything from sustainable agriculture to evolution. The characters he encounters along the way, among them a dark-haired Kentucky beauty who holds the secret to pork mold and a champion pig-cutter from Spain, are the book's heroes. Kaminsky writes with the authority of an obsessive and a humor that occasionally strays into winsomeness; in his acknowledgments, he thanks "all the pigs who gave their last full measure in the service of gastronomy."
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
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Top Customer Reviews
A real winner ...
but the book is not an environmental manifesto, it is an excellent look at the world of pig farming and pork. the recipes mixed into the meat of the book add a nice touch as well.
i know, now, that a pig, raised properly, produces pork with fat that can be as healthful as olive oil, and with a far better flavor. the reason your porkchops come out dry may be the meat itself, not your cooking.
the book is well written, informative and entertaining. it makes me want to raise my own pigs, apparently it is not that difficult. it also makes me want to take a tasting trip around the south, as well as go to spain to taste the amazing iberico ham there.
the reason i gave it only four stars is the author occasionally gets a bit off track, and the book gets a bit dry or saggy at times, but the dry spots do not last long at all. the description of the flavor of a good ham is worth owning the book, as well as a pretty comprehensive suggested reading list at the end. i hope you buy this book, and i hope, after you read it, you reccommend it to others.