Greatest Hits — Porky’s Pulpit: “bbq pulled shreds” rant

[Note: This post originally ran on February 10, 2010.  I have not consumed bbq pulled shreds since then but still have flashbacks and nightmares from the experience.]

I recently lived my nightmare.  I ate–”consumed” is a more appropriately clinical term given I did it only in the name of research–most of a package of “Certified Vegan” tofucue.  (You can pronounce that last word however you see fit.)  I will return to the scene of the crime soon to give you a full report on how this vile product tasted (preview: vile), but today’s post focuses on the packaging.

The Front of the Box
Where to begin?  Perhaps the name itself–”bbq pulled shreds.”  Shreds of what? Pulled what? And don’t think the small print “meat-free” above the word “bbq” gives me any comfort.  Plus, aren’t the words “pulled” and “shreds” redundant?

Was the budget too small to afford paying for capital letters on the packaging?  must every word be written in lower case like a jr high text msg? omg luv u tofu, lol!

Why do the words “contains no poultry” appear at the bottom of the picture?  You’ve already flaunted that you’re meat-free.  Is this small print poultry-free message supposed to make me happy?  Or is it an apology?  If so, why apologize simply that you’re poultry-free?  You look like you’re pretending Continue reading

Porky’s Pulpit: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Barbecue

Today is Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember fallen military heroes who gave their lives trying to protect the American way of life (and to find great deals on new cars, household goods, and other manifestations of consumerism runk amok, ahem, the American way of life).  Yet despite the heroic efforts of generations of brave men and women, one of America’s proudest institutions is under attack.  Indeed, like so many great American traditions before it–sex, drugs and rock & roll, to name only a few–barbecue is continuously affronted by the nattering na(shish-ka)bobs of negativism.

Every week my email inbox is filled with anti-barbecue propaganda, ranging from basically benign barbs to maliciously malignant missives.  Among the attacks I’ve seen on the great American institution, in the past week alone, are:

-On the benign side, confidence-suppressing articles about dealing with problems like “improper flaming” and other possible afflictions of the grill.  Not since Viagra ads first hit the airwaves have America’s charcoal-wielding men had such cause for performance anxiety.

-Articles about barbecue’s supposed role in the epidemic of obesity plaguing our nation’s collective midsection.

-News reports that imply barbecue may lead to incidents of violent crime and even natural disasters.

-Malignant stories discussing barbecue’s supposed link to, well, cancer; anyone want to learn about “7 Ways to Cancer-Proof Your Barbecue”?

-The burden placed on barbecue to solve America’s ongoing economic woes and rebuild its diplomatic ties at the highest levels.

-Common dangers, such as household fires, tenuously linked to barbecuing and played up for maximum dramatic effect on barbecue-friendly occasions like Memorial Day and Independence Day.  Even in BBQ strongholds like West Texas, the BBQ-baiting media have tracked down otherwise self-respecting firefighters who “are sending out a warning [that barbecue] might not be worth the risk.”  As current West Odessa Volunteer Fire Chief, and possible Past-President of the West Texas Brussel Sprouts Defense League, Jimmy Ellis put it in the same article, “One spark and the whole city could go up like a keg of dynamite.”  Humph.

-Lest the above dynamite-level dangers not be enough, other alarmists warn of the risk of contracting trichinosis and other food-borne illnesses.  Luckily, in a rare act of bravery, the USDA recently released updated guidelines on cooking meat, and finally admitted that cooking pork to 145 degrees is sufficiently safe (as tenderloin lovers have known for decades).

As if the above affronts on America’s barbecue tradition were not enough, the Al Gore set has devoted a disproportionate amount of effort to pin the future collapse of the earth’s ecosystems on barbecue.  Indeed, it appears that barbecue is now THE grease-stained culprit of global warming. “Are barbecue grills destroying the planet?,” asks an article in the May 27th issue of The Week, just the most recent in a series of attempts to make backyard pit bosses feel as guilty as possible for their selfless act of smoking meat instead of gassing it or, lord forbid, torturing it in an electric oven.

Finally, the forces of evil have stepped up their efforts to challenge the most fundamental of American barbecue values: the near-biblical truth that barbecue is by definition meat.  Indeed, masochistic vegetarians across the country write morally bankrupt drivel like this piece that tries to nudge meat aside and claim a spot on the Weber for veggies (it is consoling that the folks in the picture that runs with the article look famine-stricken and sport forced smiles that quietly scream, “For God’s sake, let me trade this pink polo shirt for a slab of ribs”).

While vegetarians take pains to inflate their bloated self-worth, and to maintain their emaciated figures, by choking down Bulgur Veggie Burgers with Lime Mayonnaise and the like, I’m sticking up for the American way.  I’ll be out back on my flammable wood deck cooking up some carbon-heavy, cancer-inducing pork butt to serve with bacon-flavored greens and calorie-full hush puppies.  After all, it’s Memorial Day and I think that our fallen heroes would have it no other way.

Porky’s Pulpit: Signs of Senility

On Monday I received the disturbing email below, from Brenae “Iron Deficiency is Worse Than LSD” Leary, who was writing to alert me about the AARP’s promotion of Meatless Mondays.  Needless to say the BBQJew.com editorial staff has about as much tolerance of Meatless Mondays propagandists as it has sympathy for Osama Bin Laden. 

Hi, Porky—

AARP.org shares these warm and comforting meat-free recommendations to help you start your week on a healthy note.

Breakfast: Apple Muffins- These easy and inexpensive muffins take less than an hour…

Lunch: Miso-Spiked Vegetable Soup With Barley- Miso is a traditional Japanese paste made of fermented soy beans, rice or barley…

Dinner: Gruyere Tart- Serve this savory tart with a side of green salad…

Feel free to share with your readers with a link!

Best,
Brenae

The fact that the AARP is touting the virtues of Meatless Mondays only confirms my assumptions about the elderly: they are confused, senile, anemic, grumpy, and generally not to be counted on for anything more than incoherent stories about days long ago and events long since forgotten. 

In fairness, I understand why the denture-wearing seniors of AARP would struggle to gnaw the meat off of a Kansas City rib, but don’t they realize that you can gum North Carolina barbecue if need be?  In my opinion, Meatless Mondays are an unnecessary distraction for North Carolina seniors and it’s unfortunate that the AARP is attempting to deceive its gullible membership.

WWOD: Where Would Obama Dine?

As you may have heard the POTUS and First Lady descended on–ascended to, more accurately–Asheville over the weekend to enjoy some good old fashioned R&R.  The Obamas still have a lot of vacation time to take if they have any shot at matching George W. & Laura Bush’s work ethic, but (never mind, that’s a comment perhaps best saved for another blog). What was the first thing the Obamas did when they arrived in town?  They ate barbecue, of course!

Now, normally I would be excited to have the President and his lady visit NC and eat barbecue.  Obama did this several times during the campaign, as politicians are pretty well obligated to do whether or not they have a taste for the stuff.  But this time was different.  He’s in charge now.  Plus, he should have no concerns about winning the Asheville vote in 2012.

Full disclosure: I voted for Obama and I think he’s a smart guy.  Heck, even if each night you pray for a Sarah Palin/Glenn Beck ticket in 2012, you probably recognize that Obama is an intelligent dude.  But when he visited Asheville–vegeterian-paradise-Asheville, deep-in-the-mountains-where-the-altitude-limits-the-flow-of-oxygen-to-the-brain-Asheville, most-of-the-people-there-wouldn’t-know-good-NC-BBQ-if-it-built-its-own-pit-and-cooked-itself-Asheville–Obama should have been smart enough to order something besides ‘cue.  That’s my opinion.

Needless to say, the media was thrilled to see the Prez tuck into some “real” NC barbecue.  The headline of the Washington Post article gushed, “Vacationing Obamas order up a heaping helping of Carolina barbecue.”  But what the not-from-’round-here media failed to notice, unsurprisingly, was that the Obamas ordered ribs, which are not an NC staple by any stretch of the imagination, as well as a bunch of sides that failed to include the ubiquitous slaw or hush puppies. 

So, the real story is that the Obamas visited 12 Bones Smokehouse in Asheville, North Carolina and ordered Kansas City-style barbecue.  Which is pretty much equivalent to visiting a seafood restaurant in the land of lobster, Maine, and ordering fried catfish.  Oh well, at least the Obamas didn’t give Palin/Beck ’12 any ammunition by dining at a vegetarian great like Rosetta’s Kitchen or the Laughing Seed.  Though if he had dined at either of those places I can promise he would have had a more authentically Asheville, North Carolina meal.  If nothing else, by eating pork ribs the President dealt a blow to the lingering suspicions that he is a secret Muslim… unless, of course, Fox News reveals that he goes by the nom de plume Barberak Oribsa and is the force behind BBQMuslim.com.

Freaks of Nature

Photo by Vince Horn

Thanks to Eric, a sometimes vegetarian freak of nature himself, for tipping me off to this photo taken by a friend of his.  It’s not from North Carolina, clearly, but it’s pretty damn wonderful anyway.

Porky’s Pulpit: “bbq pulled shreds” rant

I recently lived my nightmare.  I ate–”consumed” is a more appropriately clinical term given I did it only in the name of research–most of a package of “Certified Vegan” tofucue.  (You can pronounce that last word however you see fit.)  I will return to the scene of the crime soon to give you a full report on how this vile product tasted (preview: vile), but today’s post focuses on the packaging.

The Front of the Box
Where to begin?  Perhaps the name itself–”bbq pulled shreds.”  Shreds of what? Pulled what? And don’t think the small print “meat-free” above the word “bbq” gives me any comfort.  Plus, aren’t the words “pulled” and “shreds” redundant?

Was the budget too small to afford paying for capital letters on the packaging?  must every word be written in lower case like a jr high text msg? omg luv u tofu, lol!

Why do the words “contains no poultry” appear at the bottom of the picture?  You’ve already flaunted that you’re meat-free.  Is this small print poultry-free message supposed to make me happy?  Or is it an apology?  If so, why apologize simply that you’re poultry-free?  You look like you’re pretending Continue reading

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