Some of you may remember the film/documentary about bizarre local rituals called Mondo Cane (literally translated as a dog’s world – 1962). This is a collection of disconnected snippets from around the world on rather repellent cultural customs and ritual practices, among which there is one showing the slaughter of pigs in New Guinea and an other of Asians who eat dog meat.
In Adelaide I attended a Tasting Australia event called Mondo Di Carne, held at Rosa Matto’s cooking school – Rosa has been the queen of Italian cooking in Adelaide for many years.
Vincenzo Garreffa is a famous butcher from Western Australia and Mondo Di Carne is the name of his business. Vincenzo seems to have a good sense of humour (having spent five hours with him at the workshop) and I hope that he intentionally named his business with the film in mind, however he is also very serious about his meat – he bought all of his own meat to the event including a small suckling pig which was 3-4 weeks old and weighed 5.2 kilos.
As a participant I learned the fundamentals of Italian smallgoods manufacturing – how to make and prepare fresh sausages, capocollo, pancetta, salamini – these are small dried sausages, also called cacciatori (a cacciatore is a hunter and this type of small sized salami were ideal for a long day’s hunt).
I was not expecting a piglet, but there it was. Vincenzo boned it and stuffed it with three whole pork fillets (it had to be flesh as tender as the piglet), blanched almonds and a few slices of pork liver. Salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and rosemary are a must. I have written about roasted suckling pig once before (a different recipe). As you can see he had trouble fitting it in the oven; there is a drip plate underneath.
And we all ate it and it tasted wonderful, and I kept on telling myself that there is no difference between slaughtering and eating a mother pig and a baby pig. Those of you who may be thinking that you might like to try cooking a baby pig, can have one dispatched to you by Vincenzo within 24 hours. As for the price, it will cost you as much as a large pig, so you may think again.
Here are some of the photos:
It was a piggy weekend. On Sunday I also attended A Word of Mouth session called: Is Spanish the new French?
And pork features strongly in Spanish cuisine. I heard chef and co-owner Frank Camorra from Movida ( in Melbourne) and his travelling companion and writer Richard Cornish (books = Movida and Movida Rustica) discuss the delights of travelling and eating pork with writer John Barlowe . John, an Englishman, lives in Galicia, with his Spanish wife and two sons and in the book we encounter his travels and his experiences of eating every bit of the pig. (Book = Everything But the Squeal, recently republished by Wakefield Press.)
I feel all pigged out.