This weekend I let something back into my life that I’d cast out almost 16 years ago: pork. And it was all due to Lunchboy’s amazing culinary skills.
My aversion to pig products wasn’t based on religious or moral grounds. With the exception of a brief vegetarian phase in college, I’ve eaten meat my entire life. Ever since my sophomore year in high school, however, I’ve avoided all things porcine. That was the year my biology class dissected fetal pigs, a 10-day undertaking that was both repulsive and fascinating. Did I learn? Yes. Did I have fun taunting the boys in class when I cut the pig’s tiny vas deferens? Yes. But the smell. Oh, the smell. From the first day of the pig project, the classroom and whatever I wore to class that day stank of pig and formaldehyde (or whatever sanitized version of formaldehyde they let into schools back then). *shudder* That odor lingered in the back of my throat for years. Whenever I ate—or tried to eat—pig-related foods, all I could taste was that smell. All I could think about was that baby pig splayed open in the pan, its entrails pulled out so that I could poke a dull Xacto knife at its vena cava.
Then yesterday, Lunchboy made pork tenderloin in an effort to cure me of my pig repulsion. He cooks dinner on Sunday nights and last night he outdid himself. Though I still couldn’t look at or touch the meat when it was still raw and wrapped in supermarket plastic, he cooked it up with apples, cranberries and a orange juice/brown sugar sauce that made me want to lick the plate. There was no pig smell or taste, only sweet, juicy goodness. It’s official—I am converted.