As a counselor, Tim has taught independent living skills (shopping, cooking, etc.) to his clients and students with disabilities.
Pulled Pork Barbecue Sandwich
What Do North Carolina and Pork Have to Do With Each Other?
North Carolina does pork in a big way. In fact, nearly 60 percent of the pork production industry resides in four states in this country. Indeed, North Carolina is one of the top pork producers in America. A few counties in the southeastern part of the state oink with pleasure at the number of people employed in the industry. Tar Heels don’t swim or fish in the hog lagoons after a busy work day, but they do go to the grocery store and marvel at the pork selections. Or people go out to dine on pulled pork like shown in the photo.
Often, foods like ribs are grilled for leisurely thrills in the South. Sitting around the table feasting on swine dishes goes well with the Tar Heel folks love for the old pig skin and sometimes good-old pork-barrel politics. They help gobble up the export pork market, with the U.S. remaining among the top five producers in the world of the meat since the start of this century. Residents of the Old North State ham up sassy barbecue with vinegar or tomato rich sauces which are known worldwide. But there is a host of other wonderful hog products that might make you go roll in the mud awhile in ecstasy.
Wallow around in these treats. Live high on these hog portions. No need to be pig-headed about it; enjoy these offerings for your amusement and tummy.
Smoked Ham Hocks
Seven Pork Dishes That Will Make You Squeal With Delight
- Ham Hocks – These pork parts bring out the soulfulness in food. Ham hocks come from the joint of the leg of a hog. They are tasty after cooking in a pot with greens or butter beans.
- Chitterlings – Don’t want to know what came through them, but I know where they are going. Just watch out for the little nuggets of extra goodness that might be hiding inside. The smell of this southern food while cooking can make a rebel start a revolt. The small intestines of a hog can make your house smell like a pig pen!
- Eggs and Brains – That’s right. Scrambled eggs with scattered brains can make you forget you have a working cerebral cortex in your head. Don’t worry. Eat these and you can snort and run with the best. Don’t be surprised if you become in charge of your own animal farm.
- Cracklins – This comes from the outside of the hog. It’s the same as pork rinds which are shown in the picture above. It’s the hard skin of the animal. Crunching on these babies will make you think about the pounding football players receive when smashing into each other. It is a favorite snack in the South. The name fits the food.
- Pork butt – Boiled slowly to bring out the flavor, pork butt is a constant favorite on tables in North Carolina. Some people prefer it baked or smoked. Don’t be fooled! Pork butt is the end of the shoulder, not the hind quarters. No need to be a butt-head about it.
- Liver pudding – Rolled in cornmeal and baked in a loaf, liver pudding is fine eating. Many people like it fried with cheese and a touch of mayo put into a sandwich. Liver loaf gives meat loaf a new meaning!
- Sausages – North Carolina has a rich variety of seasoned sausages. Many of these are made locally. Some are spiced up to the point they bite with flavor. Others just want to find a mild home in your stomach.
A Young Hog
Fun Facts About the Pork Industry
Some facts can be gathered about the production and consumption of pork, but people can be guarded when talking about their pork dishes. For example, statistics demonstrate that the meat processing industry wastes only four percent of the animal. Americans only eat about half of the swine, and the rest is used in many ways. Using remaining portions of the animals in various ways is known as “rendering.” The industry attempts to be opened to the public about what happens to the rest of the processed animals.
Yet, when prepared dishes are involved, the perception is often different. For instance, no one would allow photographs of “mountain oysters,” which are hog testicles and considered a delicacy. In addition, trying to take pictures of prepared “hog jaws” can be risky. Southerners can be protective of their pork dishes. Nevertheless, here are interesting morsels regarding the pork industry globally and in North Carolina:
- N.C. and Virginia processed the most hogs and sows last year in America.
- China consumes the greatest amount of pork in the world.
- Accounting for nearly 40 percent of all meat consumed globally, pork ranks number one in type of meat people eat.
- The U.S. and Canada process about 55 billion tons of raw meat annually in the swine industry.
- The fat and skin from processed hogs can be used in cosmetics and other parts of the animals are used in medicines.
Pork – Wikipedia. Retrieved May 1, 2018, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pork
U.S. Packing Sector - Pork Checkoff. Retrieved May 1, 2018, from: https://www.pork.org/facts/stats/u-s-packing-sector/
Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on January 29, 2019:
Thanks, Bill. My hat's off to you for being willing to try these dishes. Pork is fabulous, but chitlins and some of those dishes are acquired taste.
To a kind, talented, and brilliant writer who always has time for other authors,
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 29, 2019:
I do love pulled pork! As for ham hocks, never had them. Not sure they look appealing. :) But I'm a brave soul and I'll try just about anything once.
Wishing you a brilliant week ahead, my friend.
Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on January 13, 2019:
I really enjoy what the pork industry has done for this state, but the taste is fabulous. I must admit, my first attempt at "mountain oysters" was my last. Pulled pork is great - between the vinegar sauces or tomato based sauces - we love the vinegar ones here.
Thanks for dropping by and adding your comment. I appreciate it immensely.
Nathan M from Tucson on January 12, 2019:
Love me some pulled pork. Not too big on the pork rinds though. Like that your article shows you can eat everything but the oink.
Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on July 14, 2017:
My wife doesn't allow chitlins in the house! Thanks. I appreciate your kind words.
G. Diane Nelson Trotter from Fontana on July 14, 2017: