5 pork dishes hot in Charleston right now

Despite all the fresh seafood to be had in this port city, the pork fad has hit Charleston.

For centuries pork was thought of as a ”dirty” meat because of the farm conditions pigs were generally raised in. Not to mention pork has a higher fat content than most other meats, which has turned away the more health conscious eaters. However, Charleston chefs have been able to overcome the pork stereotype by creating delicious and innovative dishes that are bringing pork back into the culinary scene.

To celebrate the new pork movement, we asked several Charleston locals and visitors what their favorite pork dishes are. Their answers varied from food truck pulled pork sandwiches to elegant five star plates. No matter what your taste buds desire, you can certainly find an abundance of pork in this foodie city.

The Boss Hog at Hello My Name Is…BBQ

Brynne Shannon, a senior at the College of Charleston, praises the Boss Hog as one of her favorite pulled pork sandwiches. This isn’t your standard, run-of-the mill pulled pork sandwich though. Their take on a Southern staple includes jalapenos, bacon, tomato, and coleslaw. “I like that they added jalapenos to it to spice it up” says Brynne, “it’s also incredibly delicious because there’s bacon in there”. Brynne developed an affinity for pork during her studies in Thailand where it was an ingredient in many dishes. Out of all the different types of pork, pulled pork is her favorite because it brings her back to her Southern roots.

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Pork Belly from Xiao Bao Biscuit

Corianna Lehrman, a senior at the College of Charleston and food blogger on Corianna Goes Cross Country, knows her way around a good cut of meat. Her favorite pork dish is the Pork Bell from Asian fusion restaurant Xiao Bao Biscuit. “The pork belly was so tender, it fell apart with the touch of my fork” she noted, “and the juices that the pork was marinating in were incredible and really enhanced the natural flavor of the pork”. She also recommends ordering it with the sticky rice for the full experience. Although Corianna loves pork in Asian style dishes, her all time favorite pork dish is pork chop with warm apple sauce.

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Berkshire Pork from McCrady’s

It’s no surprise that a dish from Sean Brock’s brainchild McCrady’s made the list. Isobelle Hemmers, a Communications major at the College of Charleston and former Paris study abroad student, claims the Berkshire Pork dish here is one of Charleston’s finest. The dish changes seasonally based on local ingredients but on this particular night that Isobelle dined there it was a pork belly and pork chop duo with turnips and beets. “The pork belly literally melted in my mouth and the pork chop was juicy, not dry at all,” she recalls.  A Cape Cod native, Isobelle loves a good  slow-roasted pulled pork sandwich with a touch of barbeque sauces and coleslaw on a warm Kaiser roll.

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Lobster Shrimp and Grits from Stars Grill Room

When Christopher Kelly comes to visit his daughter in Charleston, he’s always looking forward to his next meal. Recently he dined at Stars Grill Room, where he had the Lobster Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo and Corn, his new favorite pork-infused dish in Charleston. “I like how the dish mixes the spicy chorizo with the sweet corn, they really complement each other well” he observes. A self-proclaimed health fanatic, Christopher tries not to overindulge on pork but loves a good pulled pork sandwich when he’s in town.

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Five Spice Pork Tacos at the Street Hero Bahn Mi Stand

Charlotte Park, Account Coordinator at Lou Hammond & Associate and Charleston newcomer, caught the Bahn Mi bug fast. Her favorite dish is Five Spice Pork Taco at the Street Hero Bahn Mi stand at the Farmer’s Market. She loves the sweetness of the pork combined with the spices of cumin and cinnamon. Her favorite style of pork is pork belly, but she says, “pork is always delicious, from smoking to shredding to frying, you really can’t go wrong any way”.

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– by Laura Kelly

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