The Ride, Part 3 (Segovian Pig)

Burgos to Segovia was a wet ride for the first two hours. The roads were small, quiet and the scenery was lush. My already fussy gears battled with my chain.  The rain ceased and they rattled for many miles until dry enough for some oil. My Soggy gloves and rain jacket tied down to the rear saddles bags to dry off in the noon day sun.

Roads lurked in unknown valleys, that lurched upwards, steep and onto a plateau. From there it was a straightforward dash through small villages. Broken Spanish spoken and good faith directions taken. Outside of the sleepy settlements, castles stood strong over fields, defending nothing, just sitting pretty.


Segovia, is suckling pig central.  Home of the ‘Asados del Horno'(roasted meats). As my dinner partners would not partake in the devouring of a whole suckling pig, I ordered the one person portion, ‘A Little part of a Piggie’. Waiting for my meal, I watched other diners enjoy the ritual table side deconstruction of the pig, the snap, crackle and pop of spine breaking, knife hacking and bone popping.

My glistening butt, leg and tail arrived by itself, resting in a pool of porcine juices. Around the ankle of this little fellah(yep a boy, I’ll tell you how I knew in a second)was a tag or Mark of Guarantee. This tells you that it is from the province of Segovia, there have been strict quality controls, that the ‘Maestro’ has used all his talent to prepare the pig. More.. it also contains information on when and where it was slaughtered.

Around 21 days old, fed only on its mothers milk, I dug in to the A-1 certified with a confident seal of approval. The thin skin made for perfect crackling, the flesh, tender. Moisture retained, wet heat and an extra kick of pork provided by the suckling pigs liquor on the plate.

Now in auto pilot mode, knife fork,knife fork, and out of nowhere its little broad bean bollock  literally dropped out its raggedly sliced hind quarters. Specifically the right ball, dank and nutty. Not expected, eyes turned on you, an oddball indeed, these people on a slightly different wavelength, not connecting as they tucked into normal dishes of duck, boar and sweetbreads?

But not completely alone, someone out there in the restaurant had had the other side, feeling a kinship with that person, sharing and experiencing in unknowing ritual. The tail, luckily fell on my side, looked almost porcelain, crumbled like pork scratchings and tasted of burnt popcorn and singed hair.

This was a mad-cap meal. After the daily ride, diners took on a surreal atmosphere, exhausted and excited simultaneously, balanced on the edge. One part delight, the other delirium. Looking back on the day, the distance equals energy spent, hours passed, fluids depleted, your body pulled away from the mind, resisting  the actuality of the task and now excepting the nourishment at hand.

A simple meal, a glass of wine and the cool touch of the night.

“G.N.”

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Categories: Travel

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3 Comments on “The Ride, Part 3 (Segovian Pig)”

  1. May 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    woah, sounds like a pretty intense dining experience…Was the pork itself noticeably amazing?

    • May 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

      Yes sir indeed, delicate, a very different texture profile than its older self. Sweet even, not old enough to be bitter. G.N.

      • May 25, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

        …I was going to make a comment about innocent meat…but I’ll just leave it at yum.

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