The Ericle has been having a pig of a December. Yesterday I chauffeured The Prodigal One, who has a ham-scam on the go for Xmas, to Smithfield Market. Tomorrow I’m off to Romania for a long weekend, with a traditional pig-slaughtering at its centre-piece.

The background to this visit has been a long-standing invitation by The Webmeister for me to accompany him to visit his homeland, and to experience this highlight of the Romanian village calendar.  My initial reaction to his suggestion was something along the lines of: “I’d really like to visit Romania, but is a pig-killing absolutely a necessity? If I’d want to visit an abattoir, I can do this here in the UK!”.  But the Web Maestro was unrelenting in his claims that this was something ‘at the heart’ of the Romanian spirit and something well worth experiencing.  Faced with such conviction and persistence, corroborated by some research on the matter*, I relented and plans were put in motion.

On the eve of our trip, I must admit to having misgivings over the enterprise but they are not of the intellectual variety. From a purely Western perspective, I have no illusions as to whence cometh the cellophane-wrapped objects on supermarket meat counters. And after all,  it is the zeitgeist – Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall et al – to get more in touch with the realities of the food-chain. I’m also very wary of city-folk who run the rule over long-standing country-practices, such as fox-hunting and the like. Additionally, though not strictly connected, I am not a nay-sayer when it comes to the two European principal bête-noirs of foie gras and bull-fighting.  All this notwithstanding I hope I don’t let the side down when the deed, which is scheduled for Saturday morning, is done. Will report back next week.

* (For Wiki on the subject see here),

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