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May 14, 2012 06:20 PM

Pigheaded: Standard’s New Smoked Summer Special

Posted by Justin Kennedy

The heads, from Horst Meats, an old school Amish butcher shop in Hagerstown, Md., are seasoned with Standard’s pork shoulder rub before shacking up in the smoker for 14 hours. Each is served in full trophy form—whole head, snout up—on an aluminum sheet tray. On a blisteringly bright, fully crowded weekend afternoon, its appearance makes for quite the scene.

Who's down for this?

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  1. Remember that it's only one a day, Friday thru Sunday. By reservation only.

    1. Not sure if I'd go for the cheek or the ear first.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dithyramb

        While you decide, I'd probably sweep in and take the Cheek...

      2. How much meat is there on the head of a pig anyway? Sounds like it would barely serve one.

        10 Replies
        1. re: KWagle

          focusing on the "meat" would be the first misconception/error

          1. re: Dithyramb

            So how do you approach a pig's head in a restaurant? What parts do you eat, what parts do you play with, and why>

            1. re: MikeR

              The article the OP posted addresses this question. (not the why part though!)

              1. re: woodleyparkhound

                You really have to be dedicated to eating a pig's head to go to all of that trouble. I'll dig into a batch of crabs once every few years, but that's about as messy as I get.

                Last week at a Greek/Pizza restaurant in Charlton, MA, I had BBQ pork hocks, something new to me. Anyone see them around here? I guess it's the part just above the foot, five to an order, very meaty with a bone that makes a good handle. I ate them like popsicles.

            2. re: Dithyramb

              Okay, how much enjoyably edible material is there on the head of a pig?

              I had fried snoots in St Loius many years ago. They were crunchy, but had basically no flavor.

              1. re: KWagle

                I'm not aware of a culture that eats pigs head - sure people eat the brain, the ears, and other parts but not the face. I suspect it's because it just ain't that tasty.

                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                  Usually they make head cheese out of a pigs head

                  1. re: agarnett100

                    Exactly - they break it down rather than serving it whole. I am not aware of any culture that serves a pig head whole.

                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                      Anything smoked that long is going to have some great flavor profiles and I am sure its tasty Western cultures in this modern time have strong adversion to eating things with heads. I am sure whole pigs heads are eaten in several cultures around the world most notably in northern China On the second day of the second lunar month, every household in north China would boil pig head. That day is traditionally called the Dragon Head-raising Day. From that day on, all things start to revive, so people pray for a good beginning of the year and favorable weather on that day. As the dragon king is considered to be in charge of raining, people would sacrifice the best offering-pig head to the dragon king. Therefore, eating pig head on the second day of the second lunar month is a tradition passed down from ancient times, and is a symbol of good luck.
                      The dish below is called Ba Zhu Lian (Scratching Pig's Head).

                      Recipe for Roast Pigs Head

                      1. re: agarnett100

                        Not much meat on a head, it's a 1 person eat, the meat that is there is really very good, especially the cheeks, messy to dig around to get to the meat. The one I bought came without the brains etc, just the head, weighed about 20 lbs. mostly skull, fun to try once!