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The Big Taboos

David Blanks mentions the unmentionable...

There are some things that we cannot mention in polite company, things that we don’t want our parents to know about. You know what I’m talking about, especially the big four: drugs, sex, alcohol, and bacon. Oh don’t be so shocked. Yeah, I said it, the B word. You’ve all tried it; don’t act like you haven’t.

They say that pigs are unclean, but damn they taste good.

Americans love this shit. Especially in the south. This summer I had to go there for a couple of weeks, under duress, the hapless victim of umbilical whiplash, and every time Mom took me out to eat it was like Steve Buscemi’s opening speech in Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs: “Pork, pork, pork, pork, pork, pork, pork.”

Well said Mr. Pink. And after so many years of eating in Egypt, yeah, it hurt. I was feeling pain. Oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh. Owch. Like the very first time.

Same story in Europe. Prosciutto, salami, rillette, chorizo,  pancetta, head cheese: the culinary names for the meat from the domestic pig. AbsofuckingWikifuckingpedia. Baby’s got back.

And Asia … Forget about it … They eat pink pork like it’s the mother of all meats. Which it is. They don’t even let Muslims into some of these countries. They set up little booths at customs and do the pork purity test. If you don’t swallow the sausage, you don’t get in, you infidel.

It’s true. Ask fellow bloggers Safi and Pakinam and Omar and Nadia. They’re out there adventuring and eating all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff while I’m sitting on my ass in Cairo (like you) doing serial orders from Top Dawgs and Ali Baba. (They taste damn good too.)

But oooh, oooh, oooh, the pork fix. Maybe it’s because it’s forbidden, like after-hours sex in the office. (You’ve all tried that too; so save it.)

My favorite restaurant in all the world is momofuku ssäm bar. 2nd Ave. NYC. It’s the creation of David Chang. If you don’t know who David Chang is you need to fix that because he’s the up-and-coming enfant terrible of the celebrity chef world. He’s already a superstar.

momofuku ssäm bar

I worship his buns. Steamed pork buns with hoisin, cucumbers and scallions.

Last time I was in Manhattan I went to momofuku ssäm to reacquaint myself with Chang’s buns. It was between the lunch and dinner service and the place was quiet, only a few other customers, and to my amazement, David was sweeping the floor and serving customers.  It’s like showing up at a rock concert and having Slash take your ticket and show you to your seats. Next time you find yourself in the East Village, do yourself a favor. Go.

In Cairo you have one option. Rue 9 on Road 9. Tiny place. Tucked in between the Dragon House and Beit El Shewerma. There’s a doorman, a bodyguard, and a password, but if you’re determined, you can pig out in style. Mr. Pink has got your back. No one wants to fuck with him. Lookin’ back, on the track, for a little green bag, Got to find, just the kind, or I’m losin’ my mind.