Belcher Gastronomique

A cheerily unalphabetical dictionary of food terms



Brawn is a dish made from jellied pork. The head, and sometimes also the trotters, are used to make the dish. The meat is first cooked in brine before being removed and picked off the bone. The cooking liquid is then reduced until it begins to set with the gelatine released from the bones of the head and/or trotters. Finally, the meat is recombined with the reduced cooking liquid and set, usually in a loaf tin.

Brawn often inspires divergent extremes of opinion. The revulsion that many feel at even the idea of jellied meat from the head of a pig has led to a gradual but steady decline in the dish’s popularity in the anglophone world, though, in common with many unfamiliar cuts of meat, it is experiencing something of a renaissance of late; it has also led to the dish being expressed at times as a form of culinary euphemism, coloured with red dye, for example, to conform to popular (though not always natural) ideas of what healthy meat ought to look like.


January 10, 2010 Posted by | B, Br, Bra | , | 2 Comments

Sandor Ellix Katz

Sandor Ellix Katz is an author, food campaigner and self-confessed “fermentation fetishist”. Katz, who is openly gay, is a long-term AIDS survivor who lives in a queer intentional community off-the-grid in Tennessee. He attributes his continued health to his love of cooking, and, in particular, fermenting foods. Katz’s first book, Wild Fermentation, has been hailed as a classic and is responsible for introducing many thousands of people to foods that were staples in cultures the world over, the passing of which, many nutritionists, such as Natasha Campbell-McBride, lament as being the cause of many contemporary civilisational diseases.

Katz’s second book, The Revolution will not be Microwaved, was published by sustainable publisher Chelsea Green in 2006 and has attracted praise from, among others, Sally Fallon, Michael Pollan and Howard Zinn. It documents the underground food movements and activism currently taking place in America against the ever increasing corporate control of food.

January 10, 2010 Posted by | Ka, Kat | , , , , | Leave a comment