Oh hi there. I see you noticed my box of frozen pork. Let me tell you about it.
I picked it up from Emile DeFelice (mysteriously pictured below wearing the white hat), the proprietor of Caw Caw Creek about 40 minutes Southeast of Columbia, SC. Emile raises multiple kinds of heirloom pigs, who happily wander around the farm, eat acorns, and fornicate on occasion. That is, until they are finally slaughtered and sold to chefs like recent James Beard winner Sean Brock of McCrady’s, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and me.
Yeah yeah, you too can buy it on the Caw Caw website.
As I work in Columbia a few days a week, I met up with Emile in a super sketchy metal building behind an abandoned looking (yet functioning) car wash downtown. The small “distribution center” was filled with floor freezers, with various body part labels. Pig body parts mostly, I hope.
I first heard about Caw Caw Creek from The Dude two weeks ago, and since then it’s become one of those things where I’m now seeing their name everywhere. There was a minifeature on Emile and his country prosciutto ($15/lb – whole hams only) in Bon Appetit this month. Also, local blogger Jason Molinari of Cured Meats, and an active participant on 285 Foodies, has a recent blog post regarding lardo, where he mentions using Caw Caw fatback. I inquired with Jason and he told me that Emile’s pork is “AMAZING”.
You can see my initial haul below. I had to go out of town the day after I bought all this, but I’m trying the loin roast tonight.
This weekend I’m also going to kick off Jason’s recipe for lardo using this fatback. Hopefully it’s thick enough. When I asked if Emile if he had any thicker pieces, he said that the pigs aren’t quite as fat this time of year. Something about that statement is comforting.