While in any given week in London there is a new and exciting food concept or restaurant for me to get excited about (okay, so it has been open for a month or so now, but my current excitement is stemming from my planned trip to Polpetto next week to see what Florence Knight is getting up to in her new home), it takes an awful lot for me to get excited enough about something food related in my beautiful hometown of Canterbury to actually get in the car with the only purpose of going out for lunch. It is funny that I have just mentioned Polpetto, actually, because my latest foodie discovery in Canterbury came my way via Polpetto's owner Russell Norman on Twitter: Pork & Co, the pulled pork hog roast concept on Palace Street by Sam Deeson, the guy behind one of my favourite and most visited Canterbury eateries a few doors down: Deeson's.
As well as trying the food, I wanted to get to know a bit more about this exciting new concept, unusual for a food scene such as Canterbury's, so I sat down with Sam to find out where exactly the idea came about. It was inspired by hog roasts at food festivals, but with all the trimmings; hand crafted buns for example, rather than the usual supermarket baps. All the equipment for the shop was custom made to, so it could be perfect just for purpose without a detail missed. It is honestly a passion project built alongside the original restaurant (which was originally meant to be portable, but Sam liked the structure of having a shop front), but keeping the same ethos of everything being British, rather than 'local', which is at this point a word I associate more with tired PR press releases than somewhere I actually want to eat at.
All of the pigs used at Pork & Co are rare breed, and most of them come from The Bunker, Deeson's & Pork & Co.'s smallholding. The rest are all still British (local) pigs, and the shop gets through an entire roast one every day! Just look at that pork. I've had a few errands to run in Canterbury over the past few days, and every time I've walked past I've seen people peering in at it through the window! I mean, who wouldn't?
I chose to have my pulled pork stuffed, dipped bun also loaded with apple sauce, black pudding and a nice and crisp shard of pork crackling. At this point after eating so much pulled pork I find it really hard to describe the exact flavours in the pork, so I'll just have to settle for juicy and delicious instead. The black pudding was not too metallic, which I sometimes find is an issue, and it balanced out the pork really well in terms of flavour and texture, with the sweet bursts of apple sauce coming through every few bites.
Have you found any new exciting concepts in your hometowns recently (I'm excluding Londoners in this, as we usually have all the fun in the capitol!)? I was reading on Amy's blog yesterday about some of the new street food vendors who have arrived this month indoors at Trinity Leeds, and I must say that I am jealous of the line up. Also, if you're in Leeds I can really recommend in there Rola Wala, the Indian naan wrap vendor. I actually have a feature on them coming up from when I tried them at their rotation at street food collective extraordinaire KERB King's Cross.