Remember that scene in the Cajun Country episode of No Reservations where Anthony Bourdain shot a pig in the head out in Eunice? That was a little thing called a boucherie, a huge, traditional, community-oriented affair where a whole bunch of people get together and cook a pig. The whole damn thing. (It's also where Nathanial Zimet got the name for his restaurant.)
Spenser Magazine, a new online food pub, sent writer Brendan Lynch and Baton Rouge-based photographer Frank McMains to Eunice to attend one such boucherie, getting a little deeper into the tradition and churning out some serious country pig porn. Writes Lynch, on the cooperative effort of killing and preparing the pig:
Traditionally, the boucherie was a festive community affair, no different from this day's fete. ... As much as the eating is a team effort, so too is the cooking. A boucherie needs teamwork as much as it needs a pig; the climate requires it. Cool mornings turn into balmy afternoons quickly on the Acadiana prairie.
As in the No Res episode, after the pig is killed, the team separates, each person taking a different task with a different part of the animal. They drink lots of beer, stir lots of pots and eventually eat a whole lot of food.
It is, as Lynch puts it, way beyond nose-to-tail cooking; they use every part of the pig "but the squeak." While refrigerators and other modern technologies mean folks don't really need to cook like this anymore, today's boucheries are still held out of necessity, as "a preservation of a dying tradition from one generation to the next." Read the whole story, which could make pretty much anyone want to hop in a car and go straight to Acadiana.