Barbecued Pork Two Ways or How To Ship A Pig’s Head in Belize

Fair warning:  If seeing the head of a cooked barbecued pig makes you squeamish, this is not the post for you.

Pork, I think, is Belize’s most delicious meat.  When I first had a thick cut pork chop in San Pedro, it was a bit of a revelation.   One, because I had been a vegan for the previous year while living in the states.  (I found my diet WAY too restrictive when I moved to Belize and my relapse to cheese and then a bit of seafood and then…soon became full blown.  It’s not easy when there is not a sushi joint and a Whole Foods supermarket on your block.  Also not easy when you order vegetarian at a local restaurant and you get chicken.)

Two, the pork here tastes so different, so much meatier, so much…well…porkier than the stuff in the US.  It’s absolutely delicious,

SO…when I see a BBQ or a fire pit with pork…

Like this one at the Belmopan Agriculture & Trade show (coming up May 2-4).

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or especially whole pig, I am intrigued.  And you can be pretty sure it’s going to be tasty.

Here’s a whole pig on a spit at La Cubana Restaurant and Buffet in Caye Caulker.

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Yesterday was Sunday and barbecues all over the country were fired up.  For chicken mostly but for just about anything that was moving at one point.  Here is a weekend BBQ sign from Belize City.  Armadillo!

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My friend invited me to Carlos & Ernie’s Runway Bar just south of the Tropic Air terminal.  A great view of the planes landing and taking off, a very cool bar with some great bartenders and one serious BBQ operation.

You are entered Chicago Cubs territory.  The very first TV channel that came to Belize was a Chicago affiliate and many Belizeans support the classic, though terminally heartbreaking, Chicago Cubs baseball team.

IMG_1487Three grills were going.

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Mmmmm…sausages.

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Ebbe the bartender is quite serious about BBQ.  Look at that face!

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The selection is fantastic and so are the prices.  (BZD all.)

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I ordered sausages…the Italian is DELICIOUS.  And friends order the mini-combo.  $25bzd for pretty much a sampling of everything WITH thick homemade tortillas, beans and potato salad?  The rib?  Amazing.

Here’s a bad picture.

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My friend Debbie from Cleveland, Ohio said AND I QUOTE “these are the best ribs I’ve ever tasted.”  Super moist, fall from the bone.  I had a bite and they are REALLY good.

And I know ribs!  Remember please, that I have been a judge in not one but TWO rib competitions at Estel’s Dine By the Sea.  In my own mind?  I am an expert.

But that was only my first barbecue for the day.  More was on its way from Belize City because on weekend’s Hour Bar in the city does a whole pig roast – often cooking more than one pig.

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They have some of the biggest grills and smokers I’ve ever seen.  And on Saturdays, they sell it by the pound with all the fixings.

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I’d been there once…maybe twice…and was quite intrigued by the head.  If you google “how to eat a pigs head” (and I mean…who hasn’t?), you’ll see that it is “a thing”.  Apparently choice restaurants around the US are putting it on the menu.  It’s a delicacy (though certainly not delicate) and DELICIOUS.  (Huffington Post article:  “Whole Pig Heads are Now A Thing”.  See?)

Yes it would be weird to eat something with a face but if you are going to eat part of the pig, shouldn’t you eat it all?  Your bacon had a face at some point.

And, I found out, eyelashes.  Ick.

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And teeth.  Teeth that you want to stay away from.  What was clear is that pigs do NOT practice proper dental hygiene.

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My friend from Belize City, who is a bit of a nut in the very best way, jokingly suggested that he send me the pig head.  On a plane.  To San Pedro.  A PIG’S HEAD.

And here is what arrived at Tropic Air cargo yesterday…and my taxi brought to Caribbean Villas Beach club.

SO very Gwenyth Paltow in the movie 7.

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Interesting for photos.  Here’s Sue, respected business woman and owner of Coco Loco’s Beach bar.

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Very interesting for selfies.

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But most interesting and delicious for eating.  Crackly pork skin, fatty tender meat.  The whole thing was devoured.

Except for the teeth.

SO, if you are in Belize City on weekends, stop into Hour Bar on the water.  And, in San Pedro, on Sundays, you MUST try the delicious BBQ at Carlos and Ernies.  Go for the ribs and don’t worry.  There is not a pig face in sight.

 

 






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