Tuesday, February 2, 2010

America's Choice Sliced Pepperoni

I started this project to experience and react to pork, and at the time nothing dictated where I found the pork I ate. Once I got started, friends began making tons and tons of recommendations of the best of everything: roast pork, pulled pork, ribs, etc. I noticed that this has led me to what most people treat as occasional specialties, causing me to neglect the pork that most folks eat everyday.

I still won't cook it at home, nor will I buy it at the grocery store. I know I've said that bacon hasn't wowed me yet, and my opinion may lose some credibility when I tell you that there's a pound of turkey bacon in my fridge right now. It's true, when I am at home writing, I can't just snack on pork. As I've noted before, it's still an adventure each time. Hassan, my bandmate in a project called Sunny Ali & the Kid, has clearly gotten past it.

We had just gotten done putting together a couple of songs, and while taking a little break, Hassan broke out a snack: a package of America's Choice Sliced Pepperoni and pepper jack cheese, also of a supermarket brand. As soon as it appeared, I was reminded of the first time I had pepperoni on a slice of pizza at a highway rest stop between Philadelphia and Washington DC. I remembered finding the bland, defrosted triangle of bread-from-paste and false cheese enhanced by this salty porcine ingredient, and an understanding of its ubiquity dawned on me.

The gratuitous element of saltiness in dry sausage is something that allows me to consume it without any of the flavor surprises that have shocked my taste buds and killed my appetites in the past. That's made it a favorite of mine, and an example of pork that I could see myself eating beyond this series of experiments. The gourmet stuff is awesome, and the Italian Market is the best source I know of. This stuff, however, was different. Tart and spicy, this standard pepperoni was in a category of meat snack unmatched by the pig's bovine and poultry opponents. A slice wrapped around a little cube of pepper jack added a little exponent to the awesome. This little adventure led me to consider a third participant. Next time I have cheese and dry sausage, at least a couple of green olives will have to be involved.


  1. Tacos al pastor at Taquitos de la puebla in the market. Let me know when you're ready!

  2. Another great post Abdullah. I totally agree with Jonathan, those tacos are amazing.