Photo by Alex Caterson of The Splinter Group
Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings & Sweets’ Seasonal Ramen will feature Firsthand Foods pork jowls during Tour de Pork
Bull City Burger’s “bull nuts”—peanuts tossed in a sweet and salty glaze and studded with chewy bacon morsels, made with bacon from whole-animal distributor Firsthand Foods—are perhaps the perfect snack to munch on while learning about Firsthand Foods’ Tour de Pork
, a summer food event taking place throughout Durham from June 4–July 29.
Tour de Pork aims to celebrate pasture-raised pork by taking diners on a tour of pork-centric dishes at twenty participating Durham restaurants. By dining and sharing photos of featured dishes, diners earn points to cash in for prizes along the way and earn entries for a grand prize drawing—two tickets to a whole-hog dinner at The Durham this autumn. Download a “Passpork
” to find out which dishes you want to cross off your list first—for example, Mateo Bar de Tapas’ spareribs or Geer Street Garden’s dim sum plate—then earn “piggy points” by ordering and snapping a photo of the featured pork dish and posting it to Instagram with the tag #tourdepork or emailing it to email@example.com.
What makes Tour de Pork so unique is that it highlights the utilization of the whole animal, not just typical cuts like loin or baby back ribs (though those are there, too). Rose's Noodles, Dumplings & Sweets features Firsthand Foods' pork in all of its ramen dishes; for Tour de Pork, its seasonal ramen will feature jowls, or smoked and cured pork cheeks. Other lesser-known parts getting love from local chefs include trim, such as skin and ears, like Pizzeria Toro’s Chatham County Crispy Pig Ears and The Durham’s crispy tails.
In our foodie-obsessed culture, the initiative also helps shed light on the importance of knowing where your food comes from and patronizing companies and restaurants that value ethical, sustainable sourcing. With the exception of sausages, all meat distributed by Firsthand Foods is delivered within days of slaughter and is never frozen. Everything is ethically sourced from small-scale Eastern North Carolina livestock farms and is non-GMO. At a time when Big Ag pig farms are making headlines
for all the wrong reasons, it feels especially timely.
"Buying pasture-raised hogs allows us to fulfill our mission to help North Carolina's small-scale livestock producers thrive,” says Jennifer Curtis, Firsthand Foods’ cofounder
and co-CEO. “We take care of marketing and distributing the whole animal, which allows them to focus on what they do best—raising animals humanely and being responsible land stewards. We like to think we're working together to build a sustainable supply chain that allows farmers to stay small and hold on to their family's land and agricultural heritage."
For more information on Tour de Pork dishes or Firsthand Foods, visit tourdepork.com