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Jul 30, 2013 01:25 PM

Where to purchase Pork Belly (skin on) for Porchetta?

Anyone have some good suggestions? Whole Foods only gets "skin off".
Thank you.

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  1. lindy and grundy, already scored and tied

    1. Most Asian supermarkets will have them.

        1. re: drummer926

          I think you have two diametrically opposed recs. Lindy and Grundy will be from a pig whose name, favorite songs and list of local schools it went to will be known - all local. You may have to call in your request.

          Places like 99 Ranch will offer you the best price - probably around $1.89/pound. Countless numbers of bellies from anonymous pigs that probably came from an Orwellian factory farm in the Midwest. Not judging either source - it's just that they will be very different versions of the same cut serving very different markets.

          1. re: bulavinaka

            Thank you. Yes, Lindy & Grundy would be $18 a pound. I found somewhat of a middle ground in Santa Monica: The Farms and Bob's Market, both of whom can procure the pork belly for @$5/pound, both butchers are highly rated on Yelp, but they likely won't know the favorite color of the pig.

            1. re: drummer926

              Every neighborhood should have a Bob's Market...

            2. re: bulavinaka

              In the San Francisco Bay Are, the Chinese butchers get whole pigs every day from farms in Modesto and Turlock and can butcher to custom cuts. They may still be Orwellian factories, but they're fresh and local. I'd be surprised if LA area did not use the same.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Not that I live there enough to assure a full canvas, but I've never seen pigs transported through the metro areas of the San Gabriel Valley - maybe a central/regional slaughterhouse other than the Farmer John facility in Vernon at best? Based on the quantities of partial carcasses I've seen being band-sawed in most Asian markets and the appearances of those carcasses, they don't appear to be recently butchered and dressed. Their origins? I'm speculating on the midwest since that's where the vast majority of factory-priced pork is produced. If it's around Modesto/Turlock, that's fine - probably save a ton on transport costs. But I know it's not from the same source as the places like Lindy and Grundy, or from the place I tasted my current favorite bacon at Red Bread. David sources his bellies from a small "local" farm that raises a variety of pig originating from Portugal. "Local" in quotes because the term is very different depending whether one is sourcing local relative to L.A., versus sourcing local relative to the Bay Area.

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  The pigs that are delivered by the truckload early every morning to SF Chinatown are already slaughtered and dressed in the Central Valley. The trucks are completely enclosed with no windows to see inside what they're carrying. The piles of pigs are only visible when they open up the back to make a delivery to a shop. The butchers on Stockton St will have already broken them into partials and started making final cuts well before 10am. As you say, "Not judging either source - it's just that they will be very different versions of the same cut serving very different markets."

                  Yes, "local" is relative. In Sonoma County north of SF, it usually means within the county. In San Francisco, the range seems from as far as 100 to 180 miles with that more distant figure allowing the Fresno foodshed to be included. In other areas, sourced within California qualifies as local.

          2. Obviously you already found it, but I get mine from Jim's Fallbrook Market in the West Valley. Last price I paid was $3/lb but that was several years ago.