I would like to begin by strongly cautioning and warning everyone with strong opinions towards animal cruelty/animal rights, those with weak stomachs, or those with the inability to watch videos involving blood and death, to please use your discretion wisely and exit this post.
I did not create this blog post to harm people or those who love animals. This by no means was intended to be cruel. On the contrary, I would like to demonstrate an important aspect of the Moldovan culture. Many families in Moldova do not have or save the money or possess the fundamentals to raise a pig. Those who do, are able to raise and care for the animal in order to provide food for their families and friends for months to come. In this special case, my host family raised a female pig for approximately four months. At the time of its death the pig weighed 250 pounds providing a family of five to eat well for about 5 months.
In order to prepare the pig there are many steps. The following video shows the rigorous efforts it takes to complete the first step..
1. Cutting the pig.
I apologize for those who consider this video cruel, again that is not my intention. For those that have made it this far I appreciate your patience and acceptance.
2. Using a propane tank and metal scraper, the family removed the hair.
3. When all the hair was removed from the pig, the next step was to add water and salt to the pig’s skin.
4. Peeling back the outside layer of skin.
5. After re-locating the pig, the next step was to cut the pig into different sections. First came the head..
6. Then the pig was sectioned into four. The intestines were removed, the blood was drained, and the insides were scrubbed with a sterile wash cloth. The brains, heart, liver, kidneys, and muscles were maintained for future preparation.
7. The meat was carried into the house for further cleaning, freezing, and preparation.
8. The meat was cleaned, chopped, and placed on skewers to be barbecued for dinner.
9. Seasoned with salt and a light splash of water over a small fire pit of hot coals, served with homemade red wine, and enjoyed with local company.
The arduous process took four hours from start to finish. The meat was tender and succulent. The light seasoning was all that the pork needed, considering its freshness and natural taste. Being quite frank, I have never had pork like this in my life and I am very thankful that I had the opportunity.
In Moldova it is an honor to be present at such an event. Everyone’s help is needed and admired for the process to be successful. I was embraced and welcomed into their circle. Something like this might happen twice a year for a Moldovan family, but for myself it is something that will be felt for a lifetime.