As demand for pork in Mexico continues to grow so does the desire to try new cuts beyond chops and loins. German Navarrete is the corporate chef for U.S. Meat Export Federation, or USMEF, in Mexico, South America and the Dominican Republic, and he said pork is consumed at least three times per week, so there’s opportunity to showcase new cuts.
“We’re even using, for example, pork tongue, pork tails, pork ears, the whole head. That’s something that has been there, you know, for many years. So, it’s something that we’re looking form and we’re trying to tell people that it’s not the traditional way.”
The loin is still a popular cut and Chef Navarrete said they are teaching them cooking when it goes beyond the traditional roasting.
“That’s the first thing that comes to their minds. So, we’re telling them no, you can get them, you know, thick cart, or you can call it ribeye, you can call it tomahawk, and it’s become very, very trendy nowadays. You can see that at restaurants and in some hotels in Mexico as well.”
Workshops are key when teaching chefs in Mexico new ways to prepare pork.
“I like to call it a surprise box, where we include all of their array of flavors that would work very well with pork, and then we give it to them and ask them to come up with a dish. So, it’s been really great because they get there, work with the product, lift the product, and then at the same time they’re sharing ideas with other chefs, but then at the end of the becomes a nice gathering of ideas.”
The National Pork Board realizes the importance of the Mexican market for pork exports and is collaborating with USMEF on various strategies to diversify the marketplace. Visit porkcheckoff.org to learn more.