High on the Hog

Let’s face it:
Our language has given pork a pretty bad rap. If you eat too much and feel sick, you are “pigging out.” Corrupt politicians are known for their “pork belly” deals. If you live in a messy place, it’s called a “pigsty.” We raise our ire at road hogs and male chauvinist pigs. And then there’s The Bible’s famous “Cast not your pearls before swine.”

The truth is that as the good folks at the National Pork Producers’ Council have taught us, pork can actually be fine “white meat,” a versatile, reasonably priced choice that can be very good for you. The leaner tenderloin and chops cuts are high in protein, low in fat, and full of important B-vitamins. Just try to stay away from too much bacon—unless of course it’s a Hot Chocolate Bacon Brownie, one of the featured menu items at this fall’s Nantucket Hogtoberfest.

Each October for the last two years, pork lovers have traveled to the island for this upscale event dedicated to pure porcine pleasure—and they will do so again this October 15 and 16. Pork aficionado Michael LaScola, chef of the island’s highly regarded American Seasons restaurant, teams up with Chef Matt Jennings of Providence’s The Farmstead (winner of the Northeast Boston Cochon 555 competition, where he was recently crowned “The Prince of Pork”) to bring visitors an entire weekend custom-tailored to turn pork fans into culinary connoisseurs.

The centerpieces of the weekend are two Berkshire-Tamworth pigs raised on Nantucket’s The Far Away Farm. American Seasons, a charming ecletic bistro conveniently located on Centre Street in the heart of Nantucket village, is the stage for two days of events, kicked off with a “This Little Piggy” Carving Demo on Saturday morning. Guests watch a back-of-the-house demo while Michael and Matt butcher an entire pig from tail to snout.

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Susan Dewey is the associate publisher and editor of Cape Cod LIFE, Cape Cod HOME, and Cape Cod ART. She lives in Centerville on Cape Cod and enjoys gardening, sailing, walking on the beach, gallery hopping, cooking with fresh seafood, and exploring Cape Cod and the Islands from shore to shore.

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