Friday, 26 April 2013

Of the relationship between the people of the Black Country and the pig

In 1955, local history authors Hans and Lena Schwarz wrote about the diet of Halesowen nail makers, though they could have been writing about the diet of the entire Black Country:

"To the nailer, the pig was something the same as the reindeer is to the eskimo. It was not just a question of keeping a pig as an added luxury; poor families sold some of theirs at sixpence a pound and sixpence ha'penny a pound the best cuts.

Every bit of the pig was utilised ; from bacon pigs were obtained all the economical accessories, chitterlings, chawl, pig's pudding, pig's head, pig's trotters (and even, I am told, pig's tail), bony pie and out of the fry and pork fat, with onions added and only enough bread crumbs to hold it together, were made delicious spiced faggots swimming in a lush, subtle gravy (known as faggots and pays - truly food for the gods).

Pearl barley or groats (as in groaty pudding) and leeks or onions stretched a morsel of meat into an ample family meal."

From The Halesowen Story, Hans and Lena Schwarz

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