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Where to buy pork belly?

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Is there a place that reliably carries pork belly without pre-ordering? I tried every vendor at St.Lawrence but only had luck at the farmers market. I'm sure T&T does but is there something closer to the parkdale area?

Thanks!

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  1. Chinatown, but its not going to be Berkshire quality. Nolho Tasso? Green Barn? Fiesta Farms?

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    Fiesta Farms
    200 Christie St, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

    3 Replies
    1. re: Herb

      And you might try the No Frills on Lansdowne. Great meat dept!

      1. re: Herb

        Excellent, thanks. I totally blanked on no Frills. Thanks very much!

        1. re: jamesm

          I usually end up buying it from a No Frills with a butcher counter in it.

          WON
          http://whatsonmyplate.net

    2. You could also look for it at the Portuguese butchers on Dundas, east of Dufferein.

      1. Starsky on Dundas Street Mississauga always has them.

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        Starsky's
        2040 Dundas St E, Mississauga, ON L4X, CA

        1. I bet Koreatown's PAT Supermarket carries it - it's summer and k-bbq time! :)

          1. The Dundas/Lansdowne No Frills almost always has it in the butcher counter. I've generally been pretty happy with their pork (with grocery-chain-pork expectations).

            2 Replies
            1. re: detritus

              Thanks for the responses --- No Frills does reliably carry them and The Healthy Butcher does custom orders so I've placed one with them. European Meats and Sanagan's were also options.

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              The Healthy Butcher
              565 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

              1. re: jamesm

                The Healthy Butcher`s pork is awesome... berkshire and tamworth, and they also have a crossbred of both of these breeds with wild boar. I smoke their bellies and shoulders all the time. If you ask whoever is in charge for a discount they usually will discount it a bit since the price of a whole belly or shoulder is fairly expensive and it is a large order.

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                The Healthy Butcher
                565 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

            2. I'm curious - why is it so difficult to get at places like SLM? It seems to be on every restaurant menu these days and so yummy, I was thinking of cooking it at home, but had no idea it would be a challenge to find. What's the problem? I wonder if Cumbraes has it...

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              Cumbrae's
              1636 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

              8 Replies
              1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                It's in every Asian market and the quality is good because of fast turnover and picky customers. T&T would be a good introduction. I get mine at Soon Lee and have never been disappointed.

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                Soon Lee
                629 Markham Rd, Toronto, ON M1J, CA

                1. re: jayt90

                  Try Medium Rare at Kipling and Dundas

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                  Medium Rare
                  5241 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M9B, CA

                2. re: KitchenVoodoo

                  Until quite recently, it was considered poor people food.

                  1. re: Herb

                    Exactly, Herb. Pork belly is prole food--hence the old expression "eating high off the hog" to signify improved circumstances. I'm baffled by the desire for Berkshire/Tamworth bellies from the meat boutiques--kinda like wanting Wagyu oxtails. I only buy 'em during the winter months for old school Red Cooked Pork.

                    1. re: Kagemusha

                      If you're curing your own pancetta, the high fat content of berkshire/tamworth bellies is very desirable. I've done with T&T bellies as well as a 3/4 Berkshire breed belly, and the higher fat content makes for a superior end product, in my view. Flavour-wise, I didn't notice a huge different...but the amount of fat is greater, which makes for richer sauces if that's what you're using it for. Bacon, on the other hand, I prefer a leaner belly. All that said, I wouldn't paid Healthy Butcher's silly prices, rather I'd contact the producers directly and see what I could score. In this case, I believe HB uses Perth Pork products.

                      As far as SLM and the lack of bellies, that's just a reflection of the overall lack of meat selection in that market. It's focused on tourists and fair weather cooks who buy boneless skinless chicken breasts and prime cuts of beef or pork. I have noticed a difference in the past few years, though, with a few vendors starting to sell more interesting cuts (tri-tips, skirt steaks, etc.).

                      My SLM comment is for the South market only. The north market, there are a couple pork vendors who carry the bellies and, for pork at least, any cut or offal you want.

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                      The Healthy Butcher
                      565 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

                      1. re: grandgourmand

                        Right, Perth Pork services a lot of restaurants and shops, you just have to know to avoid the high markup you mentioned. Plus buy a whole slab and trim yourself. As always you put in a little work, you reap the savings. That said, there are people willing to pay the mark up for the convenience of single sized servings.

                        Other wholesalers popular in Ontario are....

                        http://www.100milemarket.com

                        http://www.100kmfoods.com/

                        http://www.lafermeblackriver.ca/

                        Cumbrae's wholesale pricing is also far cheaper, but again you gotta trim yourself.

                      2. re: Kagemusha

                        Mmmm.. red cooked pork! How come it's never offered at any Chinese spot?

                        1. re: FrankD

                          Here's a start on a DIY recipe. I've hacked this one quite a bit and think it's best after a long, slow braise--a friend's Shanghai-born grandmother does it that way. House smells great on a cold January night with a pot of it slowly bubbling in the oven.

                          http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...