Put a roasted pig on a table, and you’ll learn a thing or two about human nature. People will gather as soon as they smell the scent of the roasted meat. They’ll start salivating. They’ll start stamping their feet. And once they taste that crispy, salty skin, they’ll be hard pressed to contain themselves.
I discovered this on Saturday at the Smorgasburg, the new weekly Williamsburg food market, which so kindly donated space for the writer Manny Howard, the firefighter Josh Lomask, and myself to roast a pig to help support local farmers. Thanks to the generosity of Fairway Market and Roaming Acres Farm, we raised money for the Greenmarket’s New Farmer Development Project.
Before Saturday, I had never roasted a pig in my life. But thanks to Roberto Guerra, who sent a La Caja China to New York for the barbecue, I did it without breaking a sweat. If you think you can't roast a pig, you are mistaken. La Caja China is magical.
It's an aluminum-lined wooden box that holds the pig as the coals burn above it. Somehow it allows you to roast a whole pig in a mere four hours. And it’s pretty darn foolproof. In my next post I'll go into more detail, but for now take a look at this short video by Bobby Flay. It captures much of the experience very well, and gives a little history of the box. A link is here, and the video is below: