Owen Maass has a history of presenting adventurous dishes at Cumin, but his latest offering breaks new ground: a roasted pig’s head. “I want Cincinnati to eat things like this,” says Maass. “It’s excellent.” And it’s easier to make than you may think. Slather on some chili paste, put the head in the oven at 375 degrees for four hours, and voila! A pig’s head may not be for everyone, but for those looking to push their gustatory boundaries, we offer a bite-by-bite guide to everything from the cheek to the eyeball.
1. EarsYou won’t even need barbeque sauce. The chip-like ear is crunchy, dry, and wax free—we promise.
2. BrainsIt may not make you smarter but it sure is good. Soft, subtle, and nutty, Maass says it’s great on toast.
3. EyesNo worries, all the ooziness is dried out and while Maass told us it has no taste, we were reminded of a fatty piece of dark turkey meat.
4. CheekThe cheek is covered in fat, so it essentially braises itself. It tastes like a short rib. Mmm...
5. Facial MusclesThey hold the jaw and eye in place, so the extrinsic eye muscles and the muscles of mastication are a must for the most daring of diners.
6. TongueGive those taste buds a try! The tongue has the consistency of a steak and can be just as flavorful.
Cumin3520 Erie Ave., East Hyde Park(513) 871-8714cuminrestaurant.com
Originally published in the December 2012 issue.
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