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Pork Consumption: China’s beating you, Mexico…

To further the undeserved reputation I have of being a crazy bacon/pork advocate, I thought it was time for another pig-related post. Two years of living in Mexico has opened my eyes to a whole new level of involvement between pigs & your daily food intake. The sheer number of chicharrones (fried piggie skins) on display at every corner + the frequency with which I see massive bubbling pots filled with assorted internal piggie organs & snouts & tails made me think that perhaps I was residing in the hub of pork consumption.

Then I went on this trip to China, and I realized that Mexico has some catching up to do.  To be fair, I guess the whole “China is 5x larger in area and has almost 12x as many people” thing helps give them an edge in sheer numbers. But regardless, China is totally kicking butt with about 50% of the world’s pork production (446 MILLION piggies in 2008 vs. a mere 15 million in Mexico acc. to porkmag.com) and over 50% of the world’s pork consumption. Someone in Shanghai told me that China eats as much pork in a day as Mexico does in a year, but I haven’t found any data on the internets to back up this audacious claim.

In paging through my China photos upon my return to Mexico, I realized I had subconsciously managed to capture a few pork examples (sheer luck, I assure you). Perhaps if Mexico adopts enough of these, we will be able to move even further up the pork consumption ladder??

Award for best use of pork: pork-n-broth-filled dumplings. These things were magical little pockets of flavour, with a tasty porky-meatball center swimming in pork broth.

Award for plate that most merits being licked clean: short ribs at South Beauty restaurant in Shanghai

Award for most mysterious pork source: these random meat skewers in 'street food alley' in Beijing. I'm 90% sure something in that case has to be pork. On top of the counter, note the bonus starfish and live scorpions. You can't see how vigorously they were writhing around in this photo, but let me assure you that they seemed displeased about having a wooden skewer shoved through their little scorpion bodies.

Award for weirdest pork shape: barbecued pork strips/sheets in Macau. I tried a sample of this from one street vendor-- a little sweet for me, but overall pretty tasty. One of things where you don't want to know too much about how they're made...

Award for wittiest pork product name: Porkablock, as seen at a bakery in the Oriental Plaza mall in Beijing. Porkablock sounds like something that would top the list of "Weight Watchers' Things Not to Eat": fluffy bread filled with pork & topped with some cheese just for good measure. I particularly like the "preview windows" built into the bread.

Award for best pork shout-out that's not made of pork: this blown sugar pig. Who could eat a pig with a smile like that? Sidenote: as per the two open bottles in this photo, apparently it requires a LOT of beer to make it through a long day of blowing sugar animals. Hmm.

(Note: China-related posting will continue until I feel I have sufficiently bored you all with the highlights of my recent trip. Sorry to all of you assuming that a blog entitled “Midwesterner in Mexico” would be only about Mexico…)  :)

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  1. American Mommy in Mexico says:

    Hilarious! as always …

  2. Joan says:

    Julie–this was MOST interesting! I love the scorpions on a skewer. Everything tastes better on a skewer.

    I want to tell you that I really love your blog. It is very informative and your humor takes it over the top–you have a very intellectual humor.

    Also congratualtions on your degree.

    1. Julie says:

      Thanks Joan!! So glad you’re enjoying the blog. You are v. wise with your skewer assessment– this past weekend we served watermelon cubes + feta + mint leaves on skewers ==> way cooler than watermelon salad. 😉

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