IT’S NATIONAL ROAST SUCKLING PIG DAY!
Cultures across the world have all independently found that young pigs make for quite the roast. Pig is one of the earliest animals domesticated for slaughter, so it was only a matter of time before we figured out the age thing. Suckling pigs’ skin ends up being very tender and the meat is almost in a state of gelatinousness. Plus, you can roast the whole thing at once, because at 2-6 weeks of age, these guys aren’t too huge yet.
Well SP has been wanting to try the Fidel’s Capitalist Pig Roast at Chino Latino for a long time. Chino used to be the place for SP and his friends to go for late night happy hour ($1 tacos!) when he was still in college. Then he started having to get up at 6 in the morning and he didn’t get to go anymore. At the bottom of the menu, there was always this tempting item:
So we gathered up a total of 10 people and made plans for this pig roast. It was quite the party.
They even printed this up on the menus for us!
Banana for scale.
SP got to have the head. Cheek meat!!
Tender and terrific and lots and lots of leftovers. We had a lot of fun!
Tomorrow is National Oatmeal Muffin Day and National Hard Candy Day.
TODAY IS NATIONAL EMPANADA DAY!
AK was desperately hunting for a Filipino bakery somewhere in the area to get our fix for empanadas. SP, being clueless as usual, had no idea that California had such a wealth of Filipino bakeries (specifically bakeries, not just restaurants) that made especially good empanadas. Unfortunately, the majority of Filipino restaurants in the area have shut their doors. I guess that’s just the way things go.
An empanada is basically a pasty. And a whole number of cuisines all over the world have their own dishes similar to the empanada. The Latin-American version is a folded dough with stuffing of meat and spices that is baked or fried. Other versions of the empanada in other parts of the world include:
- Panades in Belize are made with masa and stuffed with fish. Mmmm.
- Calzones are basically the Italian version of an empanada
- Knishes are the Ashkenazi Jewish version made with potatoes
- Pasties from the UK (basically Cornwall) have made their own impression here in the States, too.
- Hot Pockets. Am I right?
So we took a trip to one of the SPamily favorites, Victor’s 1959 Cafe. This Cuban cookery is the total business. SPam used to live half a block away from the place, so the place was quick to jump on to our list. Terrific brunch, amazing dinner menu, and of course, empanadas.
Left: Beef, with a lot of cumin flavor. Right: Chicken, with a Cuban zest.
Bonus: SP ordered the Lechon Asado, a longstanding favorite of slow-roasted pork. That’s some fried Yucca on the right.
Tomorrow is Chinese Almond Cookie Day.