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From the Neck Up

So long, bacon. Bye-bye, ribs. A pig’s head is the new best way to eat your pork.

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. Ears
You won’t even need barbeque sauce. The chip-like ear is crunchy, dry, and wax free—we promise.

2. Brains
It may not make you smarter but it sure is good. Soft, subtle, and nutty, Maass says it’s great on toast.

3. Eyes
No 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. Cheek
The cheek is covered in fat, so it essentially braises itself. It tastes like a short rib. Mmm...

5. Facial Muscles
They 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. Tongue
Give those taste buds a try! The tongue has the consistency of a steak and can be just as flavorful.

Cumin
3520 Erie Ave., East Hyde Park
(513) 871-8714
cuminrestaurant.com

Originally published in the December 2012 issue.