As Homer Simpson’s daughter Lisa confirmed and Homer discovered, bacon, ham, and pork chops do indeed come from the same animal, a magical, wonderful animal.

The pig.

 

European Explorers Brought Pork To The Americas

You can draw a curly line from the pigs brought to our shores by the Europeans.

Explorers to your latest backyard barbeque.

Christopher Columbus took eight pigs as far as Cuba in 1493.

But it’s explorer Hernando de Soto who’s considered the “father of the pork industry” in the United States.  He landed on the shores of Tampa Bay in 1539 with 13 oinkers.

Today more than 60,000 pork producers annually market more than 115 million hogs.

With an average litter of 10 piglets each it’s not hard to imagine the growth from the original 13.

 

Pork Is The Most Consumed Meat in the World

Did you know that pork is the most consumed meat in the world?

You might find it surprising, but pork owns the top spot at 40.4% of total meat and poultry consumption.

This outdistances both chicken and beef, by a respectable margin, and lamb and mutton is not even close.

 

Everything But The Oink

And just about every part of the pig has been used to nourish us.

There’s ham, bacon, pork chops, spare ribs, pork butt (which is actually the shoulder), and pigs feet.  Ear, and tail are also consumed.

As the old saying goes, chefs use everything but the oink.

 

Pork Chop Recipe Courtesy of Cleveland

Let’s talk pork chops.

From salt and pepper to battered and fried to slathered in a bourbon barbeque sauce, you can dress them up or down for any occasion.

They are tender and easily adapt to the flavors they’re paired with.

And the pork chop is a cinch to cook on a weeknight.

Try my Cleveland Pork Chop recipe.

Named so because I created it while on a visit with family in Cleveland.

It’s pan-seared pork chops with a fragrant sauce of white wine, orange, and thyme.

Voila, in a short 30 minutes you have a feast fit for the explorers in your life.

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