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No Ifs, Ands, or Smoked Pork Butt

The other day at the grocery store, a new item caught my attention. I thought I was seeing things, and blinked. I inched closer. Hard to believe, but chocolate with salami and smoked bacon looked back at me. I was tempted, but decided to opt out. I last ate red meat thirty years ago and didn't want to take any chances.

Today I was roaming around San Francisco, first on Clement and later on Geary. I went to a bakery and had an egg custard tart, almost as delicious as the one I shared with my sister-in-law in November. I walked from the bakery back to a cute little cafe and ate a Vietnamese sandwich filled with tofu, daikon, carrot, cucumber, and cilantro. It was delish, but I was still hungry, so I next meandered to a dim sum place. I stood in a long line and ordered shrimp with taro dumplings and sweet rice puff with coconut and peanut. So much for my resolve not to eat meat. I discovered, after the fact, that the dumplings contained pork. I ate the sweet rice puff as my consolation prize. Plus, I needed to see how it compared to its Hong Kong cousins.

Never mind. 

Later in the day, I visited a grocery and admired the smoked trout, herring, and salmon as well as poppy seed pastries, Hamentaschen, and chocolate balls filled with cocoa and chocolate cream. I would have indulged, but learned the pastries were imported from the old country (New York). I wanted something made on the premises.

At a nearby deli, my wish came true in the form of homemade Kosher dill pickles. Not just any pickle, a remarkable one that had me clamoring for more.

At that point, I noticed the homemade cheesecake and apple strudel. I wanted some of each.

A tough decision awaited me. You could say I found myself in a pickle.

Eeny meany miny mo...and lo! I remembered an article that said pickles lower blood sugar. I decided to pair the pickle with cheesecake and strudel. I'm hoping that will catch on as a new trend.

In between bites, I glanced up at the menu board. I did a double take, but there it was in white magnetic letters: smoked pork butt.

I'm sure that in the right circumstances smoked pork butt is very good, but I had eaten a lot and had to draw the line somewhere.

Maybe if it appears in a chocolate bar, I'll reconsider.

16 Comment count
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Foodie forum delights. Go for

Foodie forum delights. Go for some beef cheeks next time ! Great post - I am salivating! m

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Beef Cheeks

Dear Mary,

Though beef cheeks sound chic, the thought makes me meek (unless, of course, they come with chocolate). I was so happy to get your nice note and am glad that you are salivating. Thank you for taking the time to write. Eva

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Wait. New York is the "old

Wait. New York is the "old country?" When did that happen? 

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The Old Country

New York became the "old country" for a moment Saturday night.

Thanks for your input!


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I'm a California gal--like

I'm a California gal--like Eva--who has lived in Maryland and Virginia (near DC) and has visited spots up and down that coast, so I can see how the contrast between the two regions could elicit an "Old Country."  California is less saturated with historical spots of national significance (instead centering around the regional Gold Rush, and things like where John Steinbeck ate supper and Mark Twain slept), while the East Coast has "real" history that is truly old, dating back to when our country emerged from the colonies.   

Or maybe I'm overthinking again, and she just means the pastry would be pretty old if it had to travel all the way from the East Coast!  

Either way, I giggled at the reference.  


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Old Country, New Country, What's The Diff?


I'm very glad you chimed in with your two cents about the East Coast. I'm from the Eastern Seaboard myself and grew up on many wonderful things--New England clam chowder, blueberries, and pizza, to name a few--that the Bay Area cannot hold a candle to, though it certainly tries. I love your thought that the pastry would be pretty old traveling all the way from the East to the West. That makes me want to revisit the deli and do a quality control taste test to determine what's what. Stay tuned!

Thank you very much for your thoughts on the matter!


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When I was a girl, my best buddy and I were permitted to walk over to a deli every Saturday and buy whatever our weekly allowances could buy. We developed a ritual of each carefully selecting a large pickle from an enormous jar. They cost a quarter, which we considered a lot of money since we could've bought a lot of bubble gum down the street for that kind of money. We savored our pickles, working hard to collect the dribbles of pickle juice each bite set loose. Thanks for the memory.

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I enjoyed reading about your pick of pickles. Growing up, I'd bike to a deli and hand over my fifty cent allowance to get a Kosher dill. What was great about the deli I wrote about was the Kosher dills were also around fifty cents each and I felt like I was stepping back into the past. Did you ever read The All of a Kind Family series? There are some excellent pickle --and other food--stories within.

Thanks so much for your delicious comment! Eva 

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Pickles with cheesecake and

Pickles with cheesecake and strudel?--excuse me but are you . . .?  At any rate, great post--as a fellow "foodie", you certainly know how to grab our attention!    

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Pickle Desserts

Foodies unite! I'm not..., but do seem to enjoy unusual food combos. Do you enjoy any odd food matches (or mismatches?)

Thanks for your fun comment! Eva

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When you returned from your

When you returned from your trip to Hong Kong and wrote about all the wonderful food your stomach encountered, I gave the story to my teenage daughter who loves to read about food almost as much as she loves to eat it. She devoured every word of your experience. One of the things she loved, was reading about how you'd often eat dessert before the main course! And now you've done it again. Nice job, Eva. You're a girl after my own stomach.

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A Girl After Your Own Stomach


Thanks for the nice note and compliment. Praise does not get much better than that. I'm so pleased your daughter enjoyed my eatalogue. Dessert first rules! Thank you for the terrific comments. Eva

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Smoked Butt

Smoked butt was a favorite in my house when I was growing up.  My mother had a butcher she really liked who would get it for her, wrapped in white paper.

I can't do pickles and cheesecake or strudel, but I do love pickles and cottage cheese.  Comfort food comes in all kinds of weird combinations!

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Smoked Butt

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing your personal experience with smoked butt. I love butchers who wrap things up in white paper.  Thank you for your response! Eva

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Such a dill!

Oh my Eva - I was salivating at Hamentaschen...but the pork butt - that was the end.

Another delightful discertation on delicacies from the deli - oy! I've gone overboard.


Thanks for sharing


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Butting In


Thanks for butting in with your pork rebuttal.  I loved your pun, alliteration, and most of all, hearing from you. Thank you for writing.