Christopher Walken reads Three Little Pigs on a British TV series in 1993.
"Cochon 555 is a culinary event featuring 5 chefs, 5 pigs, and 5 winemakers in a friendly competition for a cause. Each chef will prepare a 70 pound heritage pig from head to toe for 200 enthusiasts." (flash site) [more inside]
Delicious Arson at the Hog Rendering Plant? New York Pork, a Toronto based slaughterhouse, burned to the ground on November 6th. While the cause of the fire is still under debate, the photographs of the cleanup of more than 700 seared pig carcasses make for a disturbing Flickr slideshow.
The inside of Farmer John's hog rendering plant in Vernon, California, is among the worst places on Earth if you happen to be a hog, which is why the outside of the building is such a case study in mural based irony. In 1957, perhaps as a trap to lure in unsuspecting piglets who had come to Los Angeles to make it in the movies, the folks at Farmer John's hired Hollywood set designer Les Grimes to begin painting a mural on the outside of the factory, a job that he continued until his death 11 years later. The result, entitled "Hog Heaven", depicts a pastoral wonderland, clearly a prime destination for any visiting out of town porcine rube. Surely one of the world's largest murals, the work stretches around the entire square cityblock worth of slaughterhouse, and (legend has it) is so large that not unlike the Golden Gate bridge, no sooner is it done being painted than the painter must begin touching it up all over again.
A group of scientists have announced that they have created cloned and genetically modified pigs that make their own omega-3 fatty acids. NPR has more on the story, including an audio report from Joe Palca. There are apparently some naturally occuring pigs with their own omega-3 fatty acids, primarily a Spanish breed called Ibérico. Descended from native Iberian wild boar, black-footed Ibérico hogs are raised in specially maintained oak forests, and feed primarily on acorns. Until last September, however, no Spanish producer had been approved to export Ibérico products to the United States, and consumers may have to wait a few more months before they can get their hands on the tasty pork. As the ham is sure to be in short supply, you can put down a $199 deposit now for a ham that will carry a final price tag of as much as $1000. If you're unable to wait for—or afford—the Spanish version, you can treat yourself now to the Bacon of the Month Club, which serves up a different artisanal bacon each month. For more on raising hogs, read James Buchan's account in the London Review of Books. And don't forget the bacon blogs:     .
The 14th annual World Pork Expo starts today in Des Moines. 50,000 visitors and people from 50 countries are expected to be in attendance this weekend. Also in attendance will be George W. Bush.