A Pig Called Wanda

A pig called Wanda, by Karen Hamilton of Tiny Bites

Say hello to Wanda.

A pig called Wanda (by tiny bites)

Wanda was purchased by some of the men of the Foodists collective a few weeks ago. She said her farewell to her time at Sloping Hills Farm this past week and was greeted with much excitement and knivery this morning.

A pig called Wanda (by tiny bites)

Mark, Boris, Ben, James, and Anthony are gathered here at Evan’s ultra-hip Gastown flat.  Their mission: transforming Wanda from her state of rigor mortis into some of the most mouth-watering do-it-yourself sausage, prosciutto, pancetta, pork belly, ribs, coppa, head cheese, and more.  I’m present as photojournalist in order to share the day with you as we experience it.

The photos on Flickr will tell you the story best, so make sure to refresh this post and the photo album as the day progresses.  My favourite visuals and quotes are below.

Update – 6:30pm

I couldn’t stay for the whole day since my in-laws are in town for the weekend. I left before the dinner hour with a care package of pork chops, sausage links, and pork mince, my appetite appeased by the day’s snacking on bacon, foie gras, wine, and pieces of Wanda.

I’m sure that you’ll be able to pull up plenty of evening-time Pig Day action by the “Butchers of Gastown” if you search around on Flickr and Twitter. Enjoy — we sure did.

Memorable Moments:

The men, every 10 minutes – Where’s the hacksaw?

A pig called Wanda (by tiny bites)

The men, every other minute – This is so awesome!

A pig called Wanda (by tiny bites)

James – That bacon smells like the future!

A pig called Wanda

James – What did the Bible say about animals with cloven hooves?

A pig called Wanda (by tiny bites)

Karen – Oh my god…five men all cutting up a pig. What a great shot. [snaps photo]
The men – Is this turning you on a little bit?
Karen – …Maybe a little.

A pig called Wanda

Evan – There’s bacon fat on my beer spout.

Boris – Oooh, there’s nipple on my bacon!

Mark – Boris shall henceforth be known as baconmaster…or master baconator.

Evan – Wow, the internet is so smart!

First injuries of the day:  Mark and Evan have both been pierced by their knife enthusiasm.

A pig called Wanda

First fatality of the day:  Mr. KitchenAid succumbed to asphyxiation in its attempt to grind Wanda’s luscious but tough skin for sausage. We brought in a second KitchenAid stand mixer; it similarly wasn’t up to snuff. Mark finally gave in and picked up a new hand grinder (the “Porkert”) from Ming Wo. It slowly and painfully did the job. Lesson learned: an industrial grinder is highly recommended for pigskin…unless you’re a bit of a masochist.

A pig called Wanda

A pig called Wanda

James – It’s not about the size of the sausage…it’s about the flavour inside.

A pig called Wanda

Karen, on packaging a few sausage links to take home – I’ve never had skin sausage before…
Ben – For food, you mean.

Anthony – Can I get a reacharound here?


The fruits of our labour—well, not so much fruit—salumi, hanging to cure. The rest of the photos from the day can be viewed at our Foodists Group on Flickr.


18 Responses to “A Pig Called Wanda”

  1. Posted on March 28th, 2009

    Now that looks like fun! And the Bible says that you can eat animals with cloven hooves as long as they chew their cud.

  2. Posted on March 28th, 2009

    Awesome! Keep up the good work boys! What music is playing in the background? Soundtrack to Psycho? Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

    Break out the St. John cookbooks for nose to tail goodness!

    St. John Cookbook

  3. Posted on March 28th, 2009

    I live WAY too far away!

  4. Posted on March 28th, 2009

    I’m so jealous I’m not in there with a cleaver!! I’m also jealous of that amazing kitchen. When can we move in?

  5. Posted on March 28th, 2009

    How cool. Too bad this website wasn’t scratch n’ sniff. ;D Gorgeous kitchen and what timing: I just found this video on Vancouver magazine:

  6. Posted on March 28th, 2009

    Somebody care to explain what skin sausage is- or at least jot down the recipe???

  7. Posted on March 28th, 2009

    @Thom – it’s sausage made out of ground up pig skin. And pig fat. And spices. And yes, it IS delicious.

  8. Posted on March 29th, 2009


  9. Posted on March 29th, 2009

    Boris- so you have skin and fat. There must be some meat? What ratio of skin/fat/meat do you use?

  10. Posted on March 29th, 2009

    Anthony didn’t use a recipe per se – I’ll get him to come back and look at this thread and leave his own comments. I just did some googling, and I believe it’s called “cotechino” – here’s one example of a recipe:

    We may very well have thrown in some meat scraps as well, but it WAS mainly skin – and has a particular flavour and texture because of it.

  11. Posted on March 29th, 2009

    wow, what an amazing day! I can’t wait to see what recipes come out of this!

  12. Posted on March 30th, 2009

    if you need any help eating any of that… just let me know. i’ve been practicing my appreciative-oh-god-this-is-so-delicious-yum sounds.

  13. Posted on April 1st, 2009

    […] Revisit the day’s live commentary on […]

  14. Posted on April 7th, 2009

    great space for butchery and cool pictures check my videos on pork butchery !! you will like that !!

    i have all the video on facebook !!
    ill love to join and pitch in next time great web site

  15. Posted on December 27th, 2009

    Hey.. question.

    The misses just bought me a Porkert for xmas from ming wo (huzzah) and I was wondering about dies-size: one only came with 1, a 4.5 mm (3/16″ blade).

    Going through ‘charcuterie’ it mentions a 2.5 mm small-die for the sausages.

    Which did yours come with and was it ok? I wonder where I can find more die sizes for the porkert in town.

    (crossing my fingers on the old thread)

  16. Posted on January 6th, 2010

    […] regions. (Chicken butts grilled on a skewer in Taiwan, anyone?) Judging from the cult post, A Pig Called Wanda, I sense some readers hold the same […]

  17. Posted on September 11th, 2012

    Wonderful web site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks on your effort!

  18. Posted on May 23rd, 2013

    Popular models of the mixers is the Kitchen aid artisan mixer. This mixer has a variety of features that allows you to blend and mix a number of different items and variable speeds. This allows you to easily adjust the mixer to the type of food that you are using. When you want to find the best deals on Kitchen aid mixers and stand mixers, you can go online to the web site and discover all of the best models that are available. You can also compare each of the models to see which ones are going to give you the options that you need. There are a lot of great choices available with any of the Kitchen aid stand mixers and you can find the one that is best for what you are going to be using it for in your kitchen. .^;”

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