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Eater Food Trends: The Pig Arrives in LA

Eater isn't always one to talk about the foodstuffs that make our restaurants great, unless it's making an impact. Today, we're bucking the system to bring a new feature to the forefront: Eater Food Trends. Enjoy.

Those 100% organic, acorn-fed domestic Berkshire heirloom pigs you heard chefs were buying for almost $3,500 a pop? Well, for those Los Angeles chefs who participated (and us lucky Angeleno eaters) : The first shipment of La Quercia pork arrives in LA today.

Why it's news: These acorn-fed pigs are supposed to produce amazing meat, as they do in Italy and Spain. The company that's responsible for said pigs makes some of the best prosciutto in the country, found on only a few top menus in LA. But more importantly: There were only 45 pigs available, and only 10 SoCal chefs got to participate in the program, which means we'll start seeing this much ballyhooed pork on select local menus. There's nothing that gets an Angeleno foodie more excited than seeing an artisanal ingredient on a menu and be the only person at the table who knows what it is. Eh, we name-drop. What can you do.

The products come in waves: They'll get the fresh cuts today (tenderloins, ribs, etc.), then the cured stuff (guanciale, prosciutto, lardo, coppa) will arrive over the next 18 months. Chef Joseph Gillard told us about his pig a couple months ago at Napa Valley Grille, the day he purchased it. He was giddy with delight, already planning his menus. Fred Eric and chef Octavio Becerra split a pig for Eric's Tiara Café and Becerra's upcoming Glendale restaurant, Palate. Chef Michael Reardon bought one for his seafood restaurant Catch at Casa del Mar. Chris Blobaum from Wilshire went to the Iowa farm to help salt the meat from his pig. Suzanne Tracht bought in for Tracht's, although we wish it was for Jar only because it's closer. Other restaurants include the Viceroy Palm Springs, Manhattan Country Club in Manhattan Beach, the Beverly Hills Hotel, Crow Bar in Corona del Mar, and the Four Seasona Aviara in Carlsbad. They're in good company: Charlie Trotter, Mario Batali and Laurent Tourondel all supported the program.
· Want to Buy a Pig? [Daily Dish]
· Napa Valley Grille's Pig [~ELA~]
· Acorn Edition I [La Quercia]