Wednesday, July 2, 2008

America's Largest Pork Display

On the way home from the beach, we passed a big sign that said "Nahunta Pork Center: America’s Largest Pork Display.” We weren’t sure exactly what that meant, but decided it was time for a culinary adventure, so left the main road to follow the signs into the countryside to Nahunta, NC. About 6 miles from the highway, we found it: the Nahunta Pork Center (Where Pork is King). I’ve actually never seen a “pork display” outside of the meat department at the Giant, but I have no doubt that this place lived up to its claim. Inside the store, we found long rows of refrigerated cases with every kind of pork product you can imagine...and frankly, quite a few I would never have imagined. We could watch the butchers at work in spotlessly clean surroundings, and checked out the chops, roasts, ribs, sausages, hams, and quite a few things I have never encountered. Souse, for instance. I had to look this up when I got home. It’s basically a terrine of pickled pig trimmings (head and feet and organs, oh my). Not to be confused with head cheese, scrapple, or liver pudding, just a few more creative ways to use up parts of the pig no one really wants, and three more things to add to the list of “things I will never eat.”

After we left America’s largest pork display, we went across the road to check out the pork in its primal state: the pig pens. The pigs seemed to be well taken care of, had plenty of room, clean pens, and the whole place was surprisingly un-smelly. Wherever the pigs went to “cross over to the other side” (literally and figuratively) wasn’t on display, thankfully.

This was the sight that greeted me upon entering the store:

The more familiar cuts:

Sorry, guys. It doesn't look good.

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