The Most Best Porkchop

Lately our pigs have been enjoying a little Italian food:  whey and chestnuts.  The famous Parma prosciutto and ham come from pigs raised on a whey and grain diet, then finished on chestnuts.  I do have some suspicions about just how much of the caloric intake comes from chestnuts (similar to reservations I have about just how much acorns go into Iberian acorn finished pigs), but I think it is safe to say that in the good old days at least, the nuts were the major food source.  In those same good old days, it would have been impractical to remove the whey from the cheese production, so the pigs were fed whey in barns at the cheese-making sites.  Once the summer dairy season started winding down, the fall/winter nut season began, allowing the pigs to finish out in the woods.  Then they’d be rounded up and slaughtered during the late winter.

But we’ve gone one step farther.  We’re feeding pigs whey AND chestnuts at the same time.  So take that Parma!

Pigs eating ground Italian chestnuts flour. The flour was being packed for retail sale, but during the packaging process bugs were discovered in it. We were able to get twelve tons of it just for the cost of shipping.
Pigs eating ground Italian chestnut flour. The flour was being packed for retail sale, but during the packaging process bugs were discovered in it. We were able to get twelve tons of it for the cost of shipping.  Pigs don’t mind a few bugs in their food, just more umami.

The latest This American Life episode, had a fun segment on food marketing and the tenuous relationship between the product being sold and the story being told.  Case in point?  The Carl’s Jr ad for “The Most American Thickburger“.  They crammed a lot of mediocre food together and served it with a scoop of sex appeal, a side of evocative imagery, and a 64 ounce pitcher of ice cold irony.  But it sold well.

So what do we need our farm’s marketing story to tell?  We know that foodies love claims to some specific regional food heritage.  The story needs to include salt-of-the-earth characters, nods toward sustainability, and some way to position a mass-market food as an uncommon delicacy.  So, in the spirit of Carl’s Jr advertising, here is the script for our new porkchop advertising campaign:

What can be better than a porkchop?

This porkchop,

produced in the finest Parma tradition

from a heritage breed pig who is

eating organic Italian chestnuts

and drinking artisanally crafted cheddar whey

while receiving a loving pat on the head

from a hard-working, clean-living farmer

while standing in a pasture

on a small family farm

surrounded by apple trees

under a clear blue sky

and double rainbows.

There.  I think that manages to push all the buttons.

4 thoughts on “The Most Best Porkchop”

  1. Darn. You preempted me on the skepticism about acorns. I have post I’m doing right now about acorns…

    You could add to your list the fact that the pig “still has his testicles…” or something else to indicate humane treatment. Though I suppose it that is implied by the other stuff you wrote.

    1. Well, all that stuff about great minds thinking alike must apply here. I agree with your acorn math.
      I’m not sure how to work testicles into our advertising campaign, but that ought to be a selling point.

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