It’s winter. It’s time to eat pork! Most Americans automatically think that pork is a fall food, and as the weather becomes cooler, they start roasting tenderloins and cooking chops. That’s because pork tastes so good when paired with other comforting fall foods like cranberries, apples, pumpkin, stuffing and sweet potatoes.
But actually, pork has been a seasonal meat even before the pilgrims set foot on Plymouth Rock. Historically, the Europeans slaughtered pork in the fall when the weather turned colder because the cold acted as a natural preservative. While the temperature had to be cold enough to preserve the meat, freezing point was not suitable. Moreover, in those days, slaughtering took place before Christmas to ensure there was sufficient food for holiday feasts.
There are many types of chops that vary according to where they come from on the pig. Generally, they are from the loin area. Cuts can be boneless or bone-in, but the latter tends to add extra moisture and flavor. Thickness ranges from ½” to 2”.
- Rib chop – similar to a beef rib eye steak
- Center cut – similar to a beef T-bone steak
- Sirloin chop – from the rear; contains connective tissue
- Blade chop – from the spine; also contains a large amount of connective tissue
- Bacon cut – from the shoulder with pork belly attached
- Iowa chop – from the center of the loin
Pork chops have a mild, sweet flavor that pairs well with ingredients like brown sugar, sage, pepper, rosemary, lemon, garlic, cinnamon and apples. Also, they take on sauces, rubs and marinades very well.
For high-quality pork and other meats in Charlotte NC, visit us at The Butcher’s Market! We carry a wide selection of fresh food items — everything you need to prepare a gourmet meal for your family and friends!