Top Five of the Month: Pork Products

Bandeja Paisa

Anyone who takes even the briefest glance at our body of work on this blog cannot fail to notice that we have a definite proclivity towards the porcine, and so it is that this top five is perhaps the most hotly contested monthly selection thus far.

The pig is, in our humble opinion, the greatest animal on earth, and picking only five products made from its wondrous bounty was a difficult thing. Beatific smiles spread across our faces as we considered our porky love and suggested different products and cuts of the beast, but, after much debate, a surprising consensus form between us, with only two points of disagreement.

Let us know what your favorite pork products are and win a package of pork-related kitchen Bandeja Paisagoodies.

Amy & Jonny’s Top Five Pork Products:
1. guanciale (cured pig’s jowls) – Jonny: switch out for Spanish cured lomo
2. chorizo (pimenton flavored cured sausage)
3. jamon iberico (special Spanish ham)
4. chicharrones (fried pork rinds)
5. scrapple (a Philadelphia tradition made with lots of bits of pig and cornmeal) – Jonny: switch out for unsmoked English back bacon rashers

39 thoughts on “Top Five of the Month: Pork Products

  1. mmm. Pork! I’m with you… I have quite a fondness for the beloved Pig! Do I have to narrow it down to five?
    1. Apple Wood Smoked Bacon — a great flavor enhancement to any dish
    2. The stewed pork ribs that they serve with sour vegetables at my favorite Chinese restaurant in Boston – Chau Chow City.
    3. Vietnamese Grilled Pork
    4. Jamon Iberica
    5. Char Sui — Chinese Roast Pork

  2. I’m a big pork fan as well. It is hard to name just five, but here goes:

    – Smoked Spare Ribs
    – Slow-Roasted Pork Belly
    – Andouille Sausage
    – Coppa di Testa
    – Bacon!

  3. Jamon iberico would have to be 1st on my list, followed closely by guanciale. And there’s something special about bits of smoked hock or shank in a pot of beans.

  4. OMG, everytime I come to visit there is always something that I want to make it right away…
    I can literally bite my computer screen.

  5. Yes – let’s hear it for the swine! Without doubt the finest animal for eating 🙂 My every growing paunch is like a tribute to the delicious pig – oink oink.

  6. I am a big fan of pork as well. I love pork tenderloin and pork belly. And of course pulled pork sandwich! But my first love of pork is from my childhood in Ukraine where the favorite pork product was smoked pork fat or ‘salo’.

  7. Only five? What about breakfast sausage patties, pulled pork, pork tenderloin, pancetta, and mmm—fall off the bones tender smoked ribs. I could go on and on: speck, prosciutto, smoked ham hocks. I am sure by now, you can tell we are pretty in-fat-u-ate-d with all things porcine.

  8. Ok– as others have said, it’s hard to narrow it down to five– but here goes:
    1. Pork belly. For me, this is an easy #1. I can’t think of anything else that has the texture combination of a well-made pork belly: shatteringly crisp skin, meltingly supple fat, savory salty meat. And the flavor just seems to be the best of the pig, condensed into one, perfect, pork product.
    2. Jambon iberico. If only this weren’t so ridiculously expensive. For those who haven’t tried it, it’s worth every penny (and for those who have, you know that already).
    3. Guanciale. Melty savory fat, perfect in pretty much everything– sauces, casseroles, pasta… I could go on.
    4. Chinese roast pork (char sui). God this stuff is good. The perfect combo of crispy skin and meaty meat. I like to eat it plain, hacked off the roast in large chunks (with extra skin!), but it’s also fantastic in dim sum (char siu bao).
    5. Pork tenderloin. I realize the flavor of this lean cut does not come close to that of any of the fat-laden items on my list above, but pork tenderloin is easy to make and always good. I love to cut it into medallions and sear them, then make a buttery pan sauce.

  9. Hmmm. I love pork, so lemme think… I’m going to steal some of Julia’s, but it’s okay cause we’re friends. 😉

    1) Applewood smoked bacon
    2) Vietnamese grilled pork
    3) Char siu
    4) Italian sausage from my Italian market (Claro’s) – I can’t buy it ANYwhere else
    5) Pork belly

    And basically anything else made from the pig. I love pork more than any other meat. *Sigh*

  10. 1 Slow roasted belly of pork.
    2 lardo di colonnata.
    3 Boiled green collar ham with parsley sauce.
    4 Brawn – made by my brother and eaten with my brother.
    5 crispy pigs tails at St John.

    “It is a solemn thought: Dead, the noblest man’s meat is inferior to pork” mark twain

  11. 1) Pork Belly Kakuni
    2) Guanciale (I kind of put this in the same cured meat category as Jambon iberico, but it was a tough choice between the two)
    3) Toroniku (braised pork jowl)
    4) Siu yuk (Chinese roast pig with cracklins)
    5) Tonkotsu stock (pork marrow bones cooked until the stock turns creamy white)

  12. Smoked, Canadian Maple Bacon
    Baby Back Ribs
    “pantsetes”, a grilled pork belly chops in Greece
    Tsigarides, Greek pork stir-fry
    prosciutto or serrano ham (love’em both)

  13. Guanciale on pizza, chorizo in eggs, proscuitto with mozzarella/cornichons and fresh basil on ciabatta, maple bacon wrapped around dates, sage pork tenderloin with orange marmalade glaze, smoked honey chipotle ribs, ham and cheese crèpes from Parisian street vendors, ground pork and ginger dumplings!


  14. I also love the pig and have a tough time picking my favorite parts/dishes…
    1) dry rub smoked ribs
    2) can’t decide between andouille and chorizo
    3) anything pork belly…especially bacon
    4) prosciutto
    5) a good carnita, cooked in copious amounts of lard, of course

  15. Oh gosh. I think I will add my most served, not necessarily my favorite. Readily available and extra tasty:
    Thick hand-cut bacon from the butcher.
    Pork Butt for Pozole.
    Carnitas – the same as above but from the Mexican market, cooked and ready to make into tacos.
    Thick-cut bone-in pork chops. Stuffed.
    Baby back ribs.
    Great post! Love reading everyone’s favorites.

  16. Heres my faves!

    A beautiful bone in pork roast
    Bone in pork chops
    Baby back ribs
    Of course hot Italian sausage
    Pancetta and prosciutto

    I’m getting hungry just thinking about them all!

  17. Hola chicos!

    Iberian Acorn Ham goes first… no doubt!
    Butifarra negra
    Smoked bacon

    And I could go on and on 😀 😀 :D. Pork to the Power!

  18. Hello! I’m picky about the source of the pork first (humane treatment is a hot-button of mine) but once that’s taken care of, no doubt and in no particular order other than top of mind.

    BBQ Ribs – w/ my mom’s “Texas” BBQ Sauce
    Bone in chop or roast
    Pulled Pork


  19. oh yes to guanciale and jamon iberico. i’ll have to add lardo to that list. decadently delicious. and i recently had a proper boudin sausage made by a gentleman who sells at the farmer’s markets in new orleans, it is sublime. and while on new orleans and pork, cochon, my favorite restaurant in town that also happens to be a contemporary cajun ode to the pig makes an amazing cochon du lait. and they’ve recently opened a butcher shop as well!

  20. Pick out just 5 pork products? I’m not sure I could. There are so many that I love.

    1. Ribs
    2. Bacon (including pancetta)
    3. Big meaty pork chops or roasts
    4. Prosciutto
    5. Sausage (Yes, that’s a wide choice, but I love Italian and andouille and chorizo. Don’t get me started on the cured sausages like sorpresata…)

    See, my 5 are more in the category than the actual pork product. I just love pork!!

  21. Proclivitiy to porcine – weeellllll…if you say it that way – what can I possibly say in return to even remotely want to change your mind 🙂

  22. I’m with you on guanciale and jamón, but the others are
    3. My own magic sex bacon
    4. Homemade 2-day pulled pork, smoked on our applewood
    5. “Happy ending” ribs with espresso rub and homemade insanity sauce

    I realize that availability for these three is limited to people who come to my house, but there they are.

  23. I can’t prioritized these, but my favs are Virginia country ham, thick handcut bacon, prosciutto, serrano ham, and BBQ ribs with a good finger licking sauce.

Like this post? Hate this post? Let us know!