Proof that if there's something to talk about, there's someone talking about it. Meet the "BBQ Jew."
"What happens when the chosen people choose pork"
I found this blog linked on the Charlotte Observer website. The keeper of this trove of information and entertainment tells us he has found either his "new best friend, or perhaps arch-enemy" working as editor of Texas Monthly Magazine. This editor is "one Jake Silverstein (a Jewish name if there ever was one.)" Based on the fact that he allowed one of the latest issuesof Texas Monthly to be all about Texas barbecue, he's contemplating the notion that he's not the only "BBQ Jew." (that's really fun to say out loud...try it.) I'm not sure if Jake was coming out of the closet as a "BBQ lovin' Jew" or simply catering to the masses there in Texas who are quite passionate about their BBQ (as any God-fearing American who knows how to make a killer rub should be.) But I'm reminded of the wisdom of the late/great Ludlow Porch who, after a trip to Texas, said "Texans are very proud of their barbecue. It's ok, but we have the same thing right here in Georgia...only we call it steak! Everyone knows when you're talking 'barbecue' it's time to get a board and hit a pig between the eyes and dig a pit." Hence, I'm thinking one can enjoy good 'cue in Texas, even if you're one of the chosen ones. I laugh because I'm bitter - if I could cook a good brisket I'd be more willing to allow the fine folks in Texas to thump their chest and call whatever it is they're doing barbecue. But chewing through my only attempt at brisket was like chewing through the backseat of a '69 Volkswagen I used to drive. The fat in a pork shoulder is very forgiving and will give an over-done piece of meat some moisture. Plus pig fat just tastes better...does anyone eat "beef rinds" while drinking beer and watching 'rassling?
Make sure to check out the "Why Jews shouldn't eat pork" section...you'll find it when you click on the "Jew-B-Q" tab. I was aware of the "cloven hoof" and "cud-chewing" criteria - but the rock badger was a new one on me. Shame on me for not being up on my Leviticus.
Leviticus 11:5 "And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you."I found the lovely portrait above at "welcometohosanna.com" the website for the Hosanna Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas. Pretty sure they were educating their folks on a bit of Judaic history, not broadcasting a warning on the evils of rock badger consumption (or swapping recipes.) The fact that the good Lord felt the need to add this creature to the list of forbidden foods tells me they were being dined upon somewhere and He had to blow the whistle. Hmmmm....being southern, I have, of course, a propensity for exploring exciting new sources of protein.
The verse I've quoted above is from the English Standard Version of the Bible, 2001. Because inquiring (dysfunctional) minds want to know, I went out found that the King James version of the same verse reads:
"And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you."At first I figured I'd happened upon the history behind the naming of that island in New York where they eat a lot of hot dogs (thus bringing my kosher food discussion full circle.) Alas, "coney" is the old english name for a rabbit. I can hear the King now, telling his scribes "what in the hell is a rock badger? Just say it's a rabbit, nobody will know the difference." Reckon why they don't have rabbit eating contests at Coney Island on the fourth of July? I think they taste a lot better than greasy hot dogs.