"So one of my co-workers, her engagement ring is this 3.3-karat Harry Winston. It's so pure it has some XX rating, something beyond the usual rating."
"That must be, like, six figures."
"Yeah, his family has a lot of money...I don't care, you know."
It takes a lot for me to be willing to listen to this kind of conversation, namely, a whole BBQ-ed pig. Such a pig, plus a whole extra butt, can only be consumed at a party, and even though I knew I'd have to listen to people talk about how Cartier watches are just too common, I knew I might never again have the chance to see and taste such a pig. My friend Lina and her roommate organized the birthday party for their husband and fiance, respectively, and all of them have a fine appreciation for pork. Daisy May will actually deliver a whole pig with corn bread, several sides, and pineapple (when watermelon isn't in season) to your home with paper plates, forks and knives, and handy wipes. They like to call it the "Big Pig Gig". So convenient and so New York.
When it arrived, the entire party of 20 or so people just stood around taking pictures, it was such a spectacle.
We had to line the kitchen counters with aluminum foil because the counters in this luxury condo are made of some sort of soft stone that stains easily. (Retarded, I know.) But it did make for a celebratory, shiny bed.
This being a Korean party, kimchi was requisite. The sides were good, if not exhilarating: creamed spinach, coleslaw, beans, and creamed corn.
So I was impressed. The pig was moist, juicy, in places even silky. The butt came with a gravy that wasn't so exciting, but it just fell apart at the slightest touch. It was definitely more than a gimmick. But more and more, I'm realizing BBQ is one of those few dishes that I'm really only interested in eating if it blows my mind. I like my meat to be interacting with other flavors, not just its own fatty juices. I'm sure it's heresy in some parts, but I like sauce. And this is definitely going to offend someone somewhere, but I loved the BBQ I had at Jack's Bar-B-Que in Nashville during a friend's bachelorette party weekend. What can I say, I like sauce and I'm not ashamed of it!
I guess my only real criticism is that I wish the pig had come with sauce. Maybe something got lost in the delivery, because Peter Meehan at the New York Times got sauce, and he only ordered half a pig.
I'm not quite sure the pig made up for having to smile at mindless inanity, but at least now I won't yearn and wonder, "What would it be like to order a whole BBQ-ed pig?" Oh God, did I just mentally prostitute myself for pork?