At some point in your childhood, I'm sure someone looked at your and said, "Fine, but you have to eat the whole thing..." Well Mom, here goes.
Recently, a growing number of restaurants have been serving so-called nose-to-tail dinners featuring a zero-waste whole-hog feast. While this trend has been hailed for its sustainability and locavores everywhere can rejoice, the ideas may be new but the cooking process isn't. Back in the day (okay, a few centuries ago...), food has always been valued much moreso than it appears to be in today's popular culture. It would have been blasphemous to simply throw away good meat - and every part of the animal was put to good use (think black pudding). It has really only been in the past century that there has been such an apparent surplus of food to justify throwing it away - but no more! At least not for these restaurants.
Two Boston restaurants in particular have helped to reinvigorate this trend with surprising success. Posto (an Italian restaurant in Somerville) and Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar both offer whole-hog dinners for parties of 10 or more. With the price hovering in the $40/person range, this is definitely not a trend for everyone, but given that the meal is based on a zero-waste mentality and seasonally available produce, it seems hard to say no. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Chef Brian Reyelt of the Citizen Public House admits that he has been roasting a pig a night since the beginning of the year and is booked out until May.
Now, if only the restaurants let patrons pilgrimage to the farm to meet their pig in person - or is that too much?
Source: The Boston Globe