Eat & Tell
Praise the Pig
I spent the last month in the Philippines where, on a daily basis, I ate all manner and part of pig—the face, chopped and served sizzling with fresh chilis and lime; an ear, slow-roasted over a fire; the lungs, braised in vinegar; the skin, deep-fried and served piping hot; the foot, also fried, crispy, and accompanied by soy sauce and spicy vinegar. There was also longanisa, the sweet sausage that greeted me every morning at the breakfast table. I've been pork-spoiled, and while I remain devout in my love of eating pig, this total pork saturation has left me, upon arriving home, considering a weeklong liquid diet or cleanse to clear the pipes and start fresh.
But that was before an e-mail titled "Praise the Pig" landed in my inbox, announcing that for the month of March, Monsoon will feature Mangalitsa pork on its menu. There's been a lot of excited talk in the food world about the Mangalitsa pig, aka "the Wooly Pig," since last fall, when Spokane's Wooly Pigs became the U.S.'s sole provider of this pig beloved for its exquisite marbling and flavorful fat. I've yet to try the Mangalitsa, but Monsoon's chef/owner Eric Banh's endorsement already has me swooning: "I like the pork, because when you smell it, it smells so clean. The flavor is rich and there is a sweetness." I just looked over the menu; there's nothing like the words braised and lacquered pork belly to get a girl excited about eating pig again.
Monsoon, 615 19th Ave E, 325-2111.