Very educational and rational response Ms Camas. While this would not be something I would personally do (not vegan or vegetarian, just a personal choice on this), I agree completely with your motive. Thank you
Dear Oregon Mamacita, I'm not keen on getting into a food fight online, as I've personally experienced the ways in which these forums devolve into mean-spirited, largely unproductive fights. I am not here to start one of those. But I absolutely have to respond to this.
Your response to the notion of making food out of a pig head (let alone someone teaching others how to do this) is a common one. And I think that a lot of people would make the assumptions that you've made in your comment in response to this article (which, by the way, I think is very beautifully written--nice work Chris). Making food out of a pig head--something that used to be quite common and "normal" here and elsewhere, and which still is "normal" in many parts of Europe--most definitely turns a lot of stomachs of meat eaters and non-meat eaters. So I understand, at least partially, where you're coming from. But I want to explain why it is I teach this class, and hopefully expand your understanding of what it is I do and the philosophy behind it.
The reason I teach people how to make porchetta di testa and headcheese and guanciale and pate and rillette out of a pig head is to teach people how to use the whole animal. As it so happens, there’s a lot of useable and edible meat and fat in the head of a pig. As it so happens there’s also a lot of useable meat and fat and organs in the entire pig. Which is why I, as well as my other instructors, also teach people how to utilize the feet, the hocks, the intestines, the belly, the blood, the heart, the liver, the spleen, the lungs, the ears, the bones, the skin, the fat, and yes, the pork chops and hams and shoulder roasts. I firmly believe that if I am going to eat meat, I need to be able to use every part of an animal. Absolutely everything. Nothing should go to waste and I shouldn’t value one part over the other. In other words, I’ve no interest in fetishizing any part of the animal. And I don’t find that the process of utilizing the whole animal has anything to do with the fetishization of meat or meat-eating. It’s interesting, however, that such utilization has become something so exotic, so abnormal, (read: creepy, sadistic, off) to so many people who eat meat or not.
In fact, what should be interpreted as exotic, and outrageous, and creepy, and sadistic and off is the way in which we've normalized the system of meat production and meat consumption in America.
Once you learn to prepare and eat every part of the animal, your relationship to eating meat changes drastically. In fact you begin to eat a lot less of it. And you begin to realize how long a whole animal can be made to last. You also see that we are a society that would rather not be reminded that meat comes from an animal—funny how that face, those legs, that heart, those feet creep so many people out….and yet they still eat meat!
What’s the consequence of that attitude in which we deem only the un-animal-like parts of the animal edible and the rest creepy? The consequence is that we have a whole lot of people only wanting to eat pork chops and bacon and ground shoulder. And if we have a whole lot of people only wanting to eat pork chops and bacon but no other part of the animal, then we need to produce a lot more pigs to satisfy all those people. And since farmers can’t make money on any other parts, they have to sell more pigs to make enough money on the parts they can sell. And the best way to efficiently produce a lot more pigs just for pork chops and bacon? Factory farms, CAFOS, and other horribly inhumane, industrialized, and scary methods of meat production.
What's sad, and wrong, and creepy is a society that believes its normal to only use certain parts of the animal and throw the rest to the dogs (literally). A society that raises a pig only for lean porkchops. That raises a chicken only for the white, tasteless breast meat. A society who deems someone who decides to transform a pig head into an edible meal sadistic and creepy. A society so unwilling to SEE and THINK (REALLY think) about what it is they are eating, where it came from, that we feel more comfortable just looking the other wayfrom a system of meat production that’s WAY MORE DISTURBING than a porchetta di testa could ever be.
So, again, this is not fun and games. This is not butchery as entertainment or art. And this is not the fetishization of a pig head or entrails or intestines (which by the way are what all sausages are encased in). I do what I do in the name of change, and in the hope that we can start to create a more sustainable, less destructive approach to meat production and consumption in this country.
It’s one thing if you want to argue that we shouldn’t eat meat at all. But among meat eaters, when did using the entire animal for food turn into a fetish, into something mean and sadistic and creepy? How is it that just buying porkchops and roasts from the local meat counter is somehow interpreted as the better thing to do, the moral thing to do? How is it that a "normal" hunter and fisher is supposed to not utilize all parts of the animal? But a weirdo, creepy hunter or fisher or meat eater for that matter does? These are questions that I think are worth exploring if we choose to eat meat. And I encourage you, Oregon Mamacita, to come watch a class and get a better sense for what it is we are doing and why we do what we do. There’s a much bigger picture here than you’ve imagined.
Owner, Portland Meat Collective
Let me start off by saying that I eat meat. Let me add that I don't think that working in the meat department at a grocery store makes you a bad person by any stretch of the imagination. If my neighbor prides himself on BBQ ribs- more power to him (and pass the cole slaw). I have known many fisherman, but none made a fetish of the entrails.
At the same time- making a fetish of stripping the meat from a pigs head as art, entertainment and as a public act is just plain creepy. Not dissimilar from her public butchering of animals widely considered as pets.
There is something a bit off about this story, perhaps a whiff of sadism. Good luck with that.
Are there any normal hunters or backyard chicken raisers reading this comment? Please chime in. There's stuff you gotta do, that no normal person enjoys, like killing mice. Then there's Ms. Camas getting into death for fun, and that is creepy... Let's not normalize this stuff.
I agree that whiskey is an incredibly complex spirit that deserves to be respected and enjoyed properly.
However, I don't take kindly to your condescending and pompous tone, nor your extreme instructions on how to enjoy my whiskey. Although, to be honest, I can't tell if you're actually rubbing whiskey on you nipple or if that's just hyperbole.
P.s. Don't think that whiskey aged less than 15 years is low quality by default, and don't tell me that enjoying whiskey younger than 15 years somehow lowers my status, social or intellectual. It's just down right insulting.
I feel it necessary to defend this here feller's didactic and pedagogy. You low lives who've been so quick to judge are obviously of lower intellectual caliber. I reckon you could make yourselves useful somehow by reading a book or two once in a while.
Fine and shiny article you've written, Mr. Kingsley. Don't let any low life tell you otherwise.
That was so stupid wtf?!
Fancy use of the English language Sir.
Lol, what a fag.. Really??
What a fun article! I've run into whiskey drinkers who take this same approach - it is high class distilled into a beverage. I'm not so sure, wine drinkers are even more obnoxious about it except that they actually believe it! For me, liqueurs deserve the crown with the finest jewels, and Darjeeling teas are the runner-up. Whiskey? It's good if you're in the snow and have just been visited by a dog with a barrel around its neck. Enjoyed the article a lot.
Hahaha this guys a faggot I think
Quimby's on 19th
I am new to the NW neighborhood and like many new residents I like to find a comfy bar to hang out in, but me being a lady's man the bar I hang in has to have nice looking ladies in it. I heard about this place call'ed Quimby's in NW. So Friday night being the right night I headed out to Quimby's. When I pulled up in my 1965 vintage Rambler I thought its in a dark desolute neighborhood. I walked inside and there was the bartender some old dude half drunk on bloody marys and 2 dudes with baseball hats on backwards. I thought what the fuck wheres the ladies. The old dude asked me my name and I told him I'm Elroy and he said "I'm Ted the owner." I asked where are the ladies and he said they will be here later. I ordered a Rainier beer and had some potato salad upon the owners recomendation which was a big mistake. After eating and drinking I really had to unload so I went to the bathroom but before I could get my pants down I shit'ed. I quickly removed my underwear and wraped them in a toilet seat liner,thinking what can I do with them,as I quickly wiped. Then I realized theirs a fountain outside. I left the bathroom much relived and the bartender asked if I wanted another beer. I said "No." I walked outside and threw my underwear in the fountain never to return and left in my Rambler. The next day I thought what a piece of shit bar that was and who the fuck is Ted. Well I found out Ted is not the owner but instead is the fucking manager due to a DUII conviction. Ted lives in the basement with a fucking poodle. What goes on there I don't want to know.
Their food was shit and the ladies never showed up. Got to give this one a 0. For those of you out there wondering what happened to Ted. He decided to not continue as a developer but to enter the field of entertainment. He just finished playing Capt. Crunch in a gay musical Gaycation. He is currently on tour with the chip n dales senior tour. Wheres the poodle? Elroy
Now that was some work for teaching someone proper use of a word. lol.
Be cool with the reggae skinheads?
That is one tall order.
Good reporting Andrew Tonry a cracking read.
As a bartender you eventually reach a point of saturation where no amount of piss, shit, blood and puke will phase you anymore. Your nostrils pucker, you let out a practiced sigh that is intended as much to clear your breathing passages of any airborne filth as it is to show disdain, and then you get the bucket. The human body can do amazing, terrible things and when those terrible things happen to you or on you, the worst part is realizing that in no small way this is your fault, and then you add someone to the list of people who can't hold their alcohol and who must be watched with vigilance.
Fights are a little different. When you run a bar, your regulars become like family. There's the brother you wish you had, the annoying but completely lovable sister, the alcoholic aunt or uncle and without fail, there's always idiot cousin. Your idiot cousin is that stupid fucking hipster. The last time he threw something like a punch was by pressing down on the right thumbstick while playing Call of Duty, but he talks big and he's so certain that he'll win a fight strictly because he's never been in a real one. For reference; when two hipsters hit each other once, yell a little bit and then walk away from the party with tears in their eyes it isn't a fight, it's a regression to grade school. Nonetheless a few of them or their alternates from other social circles will inevitably find their way into real fights, and as a bartender watching it, it's like choosing between letting your cousin get the ass kicking he needs and deserves and stopping someone from beating the shit out of a member of your family. It isn't an easy call to make, made worse by the knowledge that a single, well-placed punch can change the direction of someone's life in its entirety.
The first story of these, unquestionably the best written one, is indicative of those moments. I may have tried to keep the thugs from going outside, asking them to give the idiot a pass and buying them a round of drinks but sometimes these things happen too fast for you to control. I remember watching blood shoot six inches into the air from a head wound as the bleeder insisted that he was just fine. Like the kid who got his teeth kicked out, some people, especially drunk ones just don't want the help.
As for the subsequent stories about sex in bathroom stalls, on sidewalk walls and people shitting themselves: that's par for the course. They suck and if you have to clean up after any of it you pull your t-shirt over your nose and hate humanity for just a little more but then you get on with it. None of those stories are particularly noteworthy, several of them are unquestionably exaggerated and a couple are probably at least ninety percent bullshit.
This could be a good article but it's dragged down by the fact that most of the stories are sloppy filler. As suggested by a few comments, this could be a good weekly column but seek out stories at least as good as the first one. There's enough of us around that it really won't be that hard.
Thanks Showstopper. I'm glad someone finally had the courage to deliver a much needed tirade against those terrible hipsters, whoever they are. If we all band together and work hard enough, we may be able to make this indefinable yet somehow ubiquitous subgroup of youth a universal foil for every local issue.
Why do I have a little difficulty believing some of these? Anyway hipsters getting their asses kicked is nothing new (lose the attitude, you're 150ibs and can't fight) and "reggae skinheads"? . That Beaulahland is a funny joint, not that it's a bad place. Anyway, i really don't have much use for these supposed "crews", wanna be "gangs" etc. Are you kidding me? A bunch of middle class white douchebags try to posture or act tough? Or pretend they are someone? I give the skins a pass because that is a real close knit group, not an act. As far as the loud dork in the group (and there is always one) It's not worth the jail time I would serve for brutalizing you, but you probably don't want to test that on too many people. My favorite are the bearded smarmy hipster dorks who cop an attitude because their friends work at the place (or own it).....yeah, I'm not impressed and frankly that does'nt mean you should have an attitude and start something that is going to leave you on the losing side of the equation. Self entitlement......it's a bad idea
Weekly column hell, a television series.
bartenders always have the best stories! This should be a weekly column...great idea!
On my final night at Ringler's, I note that a largish group of young men has knocked over a lamp, which has smashed to pieces on the floor. Approaching their table, I further note that the guest of honor -the groom?- has been slowly filling a bucket with his own puke over the last couple of hours. The bucket has been signed by all his buddies.
"Oh, you *know* that's not okay..." is how I begin. They don't get what they've done wrong, and protest vociferously when the rest of the barstaff comes over to make them leave. You see, they had just purchased a fresh round of drinks.
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