Most of us do not have the option to live amongst farms and ranches. We don’t know where our food is coming from and we can’t see how our food is being cultivated. Which is why I have the upmost admiration when it comes to a choice our friends Chari and Craig made to purchase a working organic farm in Temecula. There is nothing easy about farming, but what work is more important than growing the very food that keeps us alive?
Today, one particular Berkshire became a very important “first” in quite a few of our lives. This particular pig, was the first pig, Chari and Craig raised specifically for a food source. This pig was the first pig Chef Cody Requejo and Chef Alex Ruperto butchered from head to tail. This was the first time Van’s 3 year old son Knox had been to a real farm. This was the first time I honestly took a look at my food while it was still breathing and acknowledged what an honor it was to be a part of this pigs life and death.
How do I honor this pig in a post? I will tell you that he was a Berkshire pig, the finest and most sought out of all pork heritages. He was raised on a diet of fruits, vegitables and nuts from Chari’s farm as well as neighboring farms. He lived out in the open air in the sunshine and under the stars amongst turkeys, goats, chickens and potbellied pigs.
When it came time to break him down, neighbors pitched in and helped the chefs maneuver the 220 lb pig from station to station, leaving the men with sore muscles for the next couple of days.
None of the Berkshire went to waste, the chefs, honored and humbled by this task, fabricated every part of the pig from the head meat to the intestines. The meat was divided evenly between two farms who raised the Berkshire, and to the chefs of r3Izakaya.
On March 28th, we are going to eat this pig. Chef Cody and Chef Alex are preparing an ecletic menu to celebrate the life and death of this very fine Berkshire, and I am going to take a wild gamble that eating this hand raised pig will be a first for you too.