Musings: Pork Belly & Cockles

It’s not uncommon for trends to present themselves during the year.

Fashion trends are the most obvious (flair vs. skinny), as are car preferences (SUV vs. Hybrid).

Sometimes you see work-related trends like, being “intentional” and “proactive,” become year long missions at a corporation.

Keeping trends in mind, pork belly and cockles have been all over the food shows, in food magazines, highlighted in recipes, and displayed on websites. Everywhere.

I have to assume that they’re the 2010 food trend, right?

Except, I don’t believe I’ve tried either before.

I’ve eaten at some trendy local restaurants, and I don’t remember seeing pork belly or cockles anywhere.

And yet when I mentioned pork belly on Twitter a couple weeks ago, someone replied with, “It’s so good that my friend gave up being a vegetarian for it.” Huh? Really??

Chef Bryan Voltaggio and Sommelier Neil Dundee of VOLT - Frederick, MD
Pork Belly, Calypso Beans, Mostarda, Sorrel, and BBQ Sauce Bryan Voltaggio, VOLT Restaurant

I found a quote from a article written by Hsiao-Ching Chou in 2007 that seems to illustrate why pork belly is just that good:

“It’s such an amazing textural experience,” said Maria Hines, chef and owner of Tilth restaurant. “You have a nice layer of meat, a nice layer of fat, another nice layer of meat, another nice layer of fat, and when you cook it properly, you have a thin crispy layer on top that’s crackly when you bite down into it—which you should never do in less than three seconds.”

This was 2007. I think pork belly has become even more widely coveted and obsessed about since then, don’t you?

And, cockles. I love seafood. I grew up eating seafood. But, what are cockles? Are you ready for this?

They’re saltwater clams. CLAMS. Wanna know a secret? I didn’t know this until I Googled them (thank you, Wiki).

Please tell me I’m not the only one out there that didn’t know that clams are more commonly known as cockles these days.

After further reading, I realized just how out of the loop I’ve been. Quite frankly, cockles aren’t a new trend, they’re a vintage trend. Recognize this?


I enjoy learning new things, and I also appreciate when researching one thing leads you to find another.

Pork anything and clams aren’t going anywhere. And since they have such staying power, like hundreds of years’ worth of staying power, can I really even label them a trend?

Last Updated on April 29, 2018 by Liza Hawkins

Hi, I'm Liza, a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting sucked into whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life, and as a foodie at heart, I relish the chance to both cook and eat. (No picky-eater here!) Always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect mojito and time to finish my novel!

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