It's showing up on more menus, according to research firm Technomic - not a big surprise if you watch the food shows. It's cheaper than other types of protein, and it's become extremely popular among foodies. Never mind that a 100-gram serving of pork belly has more than 500 calories (92 percent of it fat). From press release:
With a 7 percent increase in menu mentions over the past year, pork is now being showcased in appetizers, entrées and sides. This protein suits the trend of using rustic, natural ingredients, from Chipotle's use of naturally raised pork for its carnitas to Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants' new All-Natural Iowa Pork Tenderloin Medallions with a maple, mustard and pretzel crust.
A look at recent pork dishes reveals that bacon, sausage and ham are the most common pork ingredients on menus. The data also show that pork is increasingly being used in combination with other proteins. Pork saw a 15 percent increase in shellfish dishes, 13 percent in chicken dishes and 8 percent in both beef dishes and burger dishes during the second quarter of 2011.