The things I ate at Cochon 555

Last night, I went to the New York City stop of Cochon 555. There were five chefs. Each got a whole heritage pig to work with, and each made five to 10 sample-sized dishes out of various pig parts. You tried everything and voted for the best “collection” of food at the end. (Kind of like Project Runway, but with pork.)

The butchery demonstration. By the end of the night, the entire pig (minus the head) had been cut up and packaged.

It was a total foodie event. Though I love to eat, I know almost nothing about food and cooking. I didn’t fit in at all, though I suppose I fit in better than the woman who turned down a plate at one of the stations by saying she was a vegetarian. (Seriously!)

However, I ate some things I had never eaten before (and some I may never eat again), such as:

– Head cheese. From Wikipedia, “Head cheese is not a cheese but a terrine or meat jelly made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig (sometimes a sheep or cow), and often set in aspic.” My thoughts: Weirdly chewy and gelatinous. Pass.

– Blood sausage. Wikipedia, again: “Blood sausage is a type of sausage made by cooking blood or dried blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled.” I had two of these. The one from The Monkey Bar chef was pretty delicious and actually tasted more or less like sausage. I’d eat that again. The texture of the other one was unpleasant–like mud.

– Feet Meat Hot Dogs. Tasted a lot like hot dogs made from whatever they’re usually made from. (Those could contain feet, for all I know.) I was down.

– A pickled oyster. Not made of pig, obviously, but it was atop a hunk of pork belly. Oysters taste like loogey. Never again.

The whole experience, however, was incredibly cool, despite my slightly upset stomach today. Adventurous eating FTW.

They were out of the stuffed ears, but the bacon popcorn was to die for.


About Meghan Loftus
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