Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pig Ears in San Francisco?

Offally Delicious, at Cav Wine Bar Last Night

Last night I went to Cav Wine Bar in San Francisco and ordered a pig ear and mushroom salad. I'd never had pig ears before. They look exactly like you'd expect pig ears to look and were intertwined with the fungi and the salad leaves and served with a leek terrine. Absolutely delicious. When is somebody going to invent Pig Ear Crisps [US Chips]? I think I could eat them by the bagful.



I have been to CAV four times but I haven't written a review of them. In a nutshell, I am rather fond of their menu and the departure of chef Christine Mullen last week does not appear to have affected the kitchen which according to a source I read has been taken over by Michael Lamina who was previously Mullen's sous chef.


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Pig Ears in San Francisco?

23 Comments:

  • At 31/10/07 09:53, Blogger Curt McAdams said…

    That's nothing new; go to your local pet store and get pig ears, already deep fried, for 89 cents each. My dog was apparently a connoisseur, and I didn't realize it! :)

     
  • At 31/10/07 09:56, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You can buy pig ear crisps at SE Asian or Latino grocery stores. They don't need to be "invented" they're a pretty traditional snack for some people.

     
  • At 31/10/07 10:00, Blogger Sam said…

    Thanks for the info anon! I had a feeling they might be. I think I prefer that option to the pet store. Do you have a brand recommendation? Thank you

     
  • At 31/10/07 10:46, Blogger Jennifer Maiser said…

    I tasted them too -- they were a lot like chicharrones. How do I put pig ears into Weight Watchers? :-)

     
  • At 31/10/07 13:13, Blogger ChrisB said…

    Sam I haven't quite decided if I would want to try pigs ears~ just in case you are wondering!!

     
  • At 31/10/07 13:52, Anonymous Christina said…

    I have to think about this for a while. They were salty? I love those pork rind things ... Can't be that different. I'm not trying the pet stores, though. I'm just not doing it.

     
  • At 31/10/07 14:21, Blogger Derrick said…

    The one time I ate at Cav, I was underwhelmed by the food. The wine list, of course, is reason enough to go, but maybe I'm just a wee bit picky about duck.

     
  • At 31/10/07 16:38, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    OK, well now I know where to go to sample pig ears.
    My butcher won't get them for me. He'd have to order, like, 10 pounds (and this is Marin, fergawdsake).
    He did tell me about a college prank, though, where he and his naughty pals bought a case of pig's ears and... oh, gosh, I forget what nasty evil they did with them. Something like toilet-papering a house. Earing a house?

     
  • At 31/10/07 16:44, Blogger Sam said…

    chicarrones aren't pig ears though are they - Jen? Aren't they the same as what I would call scratchings? Which is the British version - which indeed you can get in a bag like crisps, but never shaped liked ears.

    I am wondering if you can get a bag of just the ears - all ear shaped?

    Mum - you would LOVE the pigs ears, I know you.

    Derrick - this is why I think you can never judge a restaurant or just one dish or one visit. All places have on and off nights - even, I think, the ones that do good duck I imagine!

    cookiecrumb - anytime you want - let me know!

     
  • At 31/10/07 17:03, Blogger Jennifer Maiser said…

    You're right Sam -- they just reminded me of them, though with a little more chew.

     
  • At 31/10/07 17:09, Blogger Sam said…

    Does anyone know what the pig ears in a bag are called in Asian or Latino markets then?

    Jen - you should try the Brit version - they are nice and crispy (greasy!) I think I said they were called scratchings but maybe they are called cracklings. I am confused. At home we called it crackling.

    I think they must be ZERO WW points because I looked them up on the point tracker and they didn't even exist!

    Fancy that.

     
  • At 31/10/07 17:29, Blogger Sam said…

    hang on - jen - did you think last night was chewy or chicharrones are chewier?

     
  • At 31/10/07 19:05, Blogger Dagny said…

    My dad loves to grill pig ears for New Year's Day.

     
  • At 31/10/07 19:32, Anonymous johng said…

    I had pig ears at the "whole hog" thing at Olivetto a couple years ago. We were a big group and we ate literally the entire menu, and so the entire pig. Those and the brains were a little hard to get down. Too chewy.

     
  • At 31/10/07 19:38, Blogger Jennifer Maiser said…

    I thought that last nights were a bit chewier, but that's not a bad thing. I think when I eat chicharrones, my grandmother fries the hell out of them so there's not much texture left.

     
  • At 1/11/07 04:13, Blogger Beccy said…

    So are they chewy or crispy?

    Crispy sounds good, not so sure about the chewy!

     
  • At 1/11/07 11:51, Anonymous enidd said…

    enidd and stalin are both very fond of pigs' ears. does cav allow dogs?

     
  • At 1/11/07 15:40, Anonymous kudzu said…

    Okay, Sam, time for a real test. My brother used to freak me out telling me about the snout sandwiches he ate in dives in Virginia.

    Cracklings are made from the pork rind part of the fatback skin when hogs are butchered. Poultry cracklings are bits of the skin.

     
  • At 2/11/07 14:28, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    sorry to be so long in replying. the thai grocery stores sell them in little clear cellophane bags stapled shut on the top. the ears are slivered and then deep fried until the skin puffs, but you still see that little bit of cartilage that goes a dark caramel brown. I think they're made by someone who delivers them to the restaurant, so no name brands, sorry. they are salty and super tasty.

    the mexican brands can vary (and so can the taste, some of them can be yucky tasting from too many things in them besides pig and pig). I can't think of any brands of the top of my head (all I can see in my mind is red lettering which is not very helpful and the fact you could get them mixed with deep fried snouts), but you should be able to find them in the Mission surely?

     
  • At 2/11/07 14:29, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    that should read "delivers them to the grocery" not restaurant, sorry.

     
  • At 2/11/07 14:39, Blogger Sam said…

    cool! thanks for the info anonymous benevolent one. sounds like thai is the way to go. Will ask Pim for tips on where they may be found in the Bay Area. Cheers.

     
  • At 3/11/07 11:40, Blogger Allen of EOL said…

    I mistakenly ordered a dish from a local chinese restaurant that I thought was sliced mushrooms, brownish tan 1/4" strips. I took a few bites before realizing there wasn't any fungi flavor, instead the soy coated strips were savory and rich. A friend informed me that I was chowing down on pigs ears ... I never thought I would like them ... but they are kind of good :-)

     
  • At 6/11/07 08:02, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Pig ears are a staple of Portuguese food (included in both "Cozido à Portuguesa" and "Tripas à moda do Porto". I enjoy them slowly boiled (in lard, onions, garlic, thickened with flour and with loads of fresh coriander). You can buy them fresh in any good butcher (at least in Portugal or UK, not sure about US).

     

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