A Pig Roast of 2 Cultures


Just a fun story to read…

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Great story - I love it when food is put into its social or historical context, as here. That said, I’m not sure I’m keen on the idea of a “congealed salad”.

A whole roast pig is inherently a delight. There used to be a couple of guys set up at one of our local farmers markets. Served up on a barmcake, there’d be the pork, crackling, sage & onion stuffing, mustard and apple sauce. Delish.


Completely agree. Nothing like roasting a whole animal to bring people together. A few years ago for his birthday the FIL dug a pit in in the quite small London garden and cooked a whole suckling pig. We have a friend who came ,who’s a Kiwi of Maori heritage. She was so happy that we were doing a hangi.


We went to a “works do” donkeys years back where they roasted a whole sheep. They did it in what I recall was a South American fashion - a fire was lit and the sheep tied to a metal cross (so each leg of the animal was tied to an arm of the cross) and then the whole thing was stuck in the ground in front of the fire to cook vertically. I do recall delish meat but much of the rest of the afternoon is vague due to being totally pissed.

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the idea of congealed salad is amusing. Eating congealed salad is not amusing, for me at least. My grandmother made it in Raleigh NC in the 60’s and 70’s, when it was supposedly a “new” thing. She didn’t use cream cheese but did use miniature marshmallows and canned fruit cocktail in heavy syrup.

check out https://www.southernliving.com/food/entertaining/congealed-salads#congealed-vegetable-salad-recipe for more historical recipes.


Had to look up “barm cake” and understand that, but what the heck is


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I’m trying to understand this. How did the sheep cook evenly or did they just cut off the legs near the fire first and keep lowering it as it cooked? I could be missing something but it appears this wouldn’t be a very efficient way of cooking a whole sheep…unless the point was to eat it slowly as meat was cut off near the coals and then lowered after each serving. (ie driving the stake farther into the ground)

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Heat rises. Build a big enough fire and the difference in temperature between the top of the stake and the bottom of the stake will be insignificant.

I believe this is a common cooking method for South American churrascos as well.


“works do” = office party
“donkeys years back” = ages ago
yes, I am bilingual in American and English :wink:


Good to see you’ve not lost it. :grinning:

You now know all I recall of the afternoon. Sorry - can’t help more with the logistics.

EDIT: John replied as I was typing so here is my original response…

I can’t wrap my head around this concept. There is no way, in open air, an animal hung vertically at a 90 degree angle will cook evenly. THE KEY WORD IS EVENLY. This is my understanding of this cooking method. It appears we have a sheep on a crucifix. I could be wrong and misunderstanding this concept. Maybe John will chime in and lend some insight into this, but I assure you, cooking an animal hung at a 90 degree angle with a fire underneath it, will not cook at the same rate from tail to head. The bottom will be burnt to hell before the shoulder is even half way cooked.

If we are talking about putting the stake in at a low angle somehow, digging a trough to hold your coals, and arranging the coals according to the height of the meat…then yeah, it may cook evenly if done correctly and it would probably need a ton of attention while cooking.

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Ps, does anyone have any pics of this crucifix style of cooking or know what it is called in English (or Español)

I’m intrigued. I like whole cooked pigs so this has me wondering how this method works.

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…and no Zs were harmed in the course of this posting.

We do have a sheep on a crucifix. As I recall, it was stuck in the ground in front of the fire, not over the fire - so, in effect, very similar to old fashioned domestic roasting in front of a fire, in the days before ovens were common.

I love the imagery of Sheep On A Crucifix, no matter what the context.

And old fashioned domestic roasting. We can certainly turn a phrase around here.

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