Wine tastings, sure.  Beer tastings, of course, love them.  PIG tasting?  TAKE MY MONEY.

 

When I heard that Cochon 555 would be coming to town, I got to work on researching it immediately.  The basic idea is taking five chefs, five wine makers, and five heritage breed pigs, throwing them all together and then seeing what comes out on the other end (spoiler alert: it’s amazing pork).  The touring event was created to not only showcase the amazing things our porcine friends can do for the culinary world, but also to raise awareness of sustainable farming and heritage breed pigs.  Well, this combined two of my favorite things, eating pork and learning about pork, so I was very exited to go.

Courtesy of Taste Network

 

The event was held in the main ballroom of The Cosmopolitan.  The first thing I noticed was that each table had a little pot of bacon to snack on.  This was no everyday, greasy spoon breakfast bacon either, it was extra thick smoked bacon.  I assure you, it took will power to not eat the whole pot, as there was even more delights to behold down the line.  Several local and out of state farms were showing off their prize winning, master crafted prosciutto and culatello, taking super thin slices right off the bone.  Along side them were representatives from other small farms and dairies, and even a booth for Deschutes Brewery, where I learned about the Black Widow beer cocktail.

There were many, many different iterations of the pig.  Some were great in an obvious way, like maple ice cream between bacon oatmeal cookies, or pineapple glazed pork belly sliders, or the Ham-burger, a burger made from 100% ground ham.  However, there was an equal amount of food that didn’t so much appeal to my base instincts, but rather to my higher predilections for interesting and complex flavors.  For instance, the Swiss-Army Pig used every main part of the pig, including the organs and marrow, to create one delectable bite, encapsulating all the flavors perfectly.  Another example would be the a simple ball of cantaloupe melon, wrapped in a little bit of raw pig fat.  With the tender loving care in both the upbringing and preparation of all the pork at Cochon, I would consider it a kind of ‘pig sushi’.  Very tasty, once you get past it.  Truly, these chefs were absolute masters of their craft, and the canvas for them to ply their talents was a very deserving one.

Courtesy of Taste Network

Will I be going back to Cochon 555 next year?  Well, I had to consider it… for about five seconds.  Let me put it this way:  if you are planning a wedding and want me to attend, do us all a favor and check the website of Cochon 555 first.