Author Topic: Pastured pork vs. commercial, taste off.  (Read 2888 times)

Offline Jmolinari

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Pastured pork vs. commercial, taste off.
« on: August 09, 2011, 09:30:37 PM »
I had the opportunity to get some pork chops from Gum Creek, a local farm. In my freezer i had a Caw Caw creek chop, and this past weekend at the grocery i forgot about both of those and bought pork chops....so what was i to do but have a blind taste test?

I've heard a lot of talk about how pastured pork is better by lightyears than commercial. And admittedly i've said the same thing....but is it really? Only 1 way to find out.

My goal was to cook them identically, and taste them blind.

All 3 chops were vac packed with just salt and some oil. Here was my main mistake. I should have salted by % of weight of the meat, to keep that constant. I salted by feel/sight.



All 3 chops were cooked at 138 deg. for 2 hours, and removed from the vac packs and patted dry:



The 3 chops were seared in a BLAZING hot oiled pan for 1 minute per side.



Both my wife and I, blind tasting, picked commercial!! as having the best flavor. We both could hardly believe it. So much so, that i retasted them repeatedly trying to convince myself...but nope.
Gum creek had the least flavor but was the most tender. Caw Caw had good flavor and ok tenderness..and commercial had the most flavor and was the toughest.

The commercial chops i had were quite nice...nice marbling. I think there is a lot of variability to commercial pork. We've done this test before with caw caw vs. commercial and it was a blowout for caw caw...

really raises questions though, doesn't it!


Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Pastured pork vs. commercial, taste off.
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2011, 11:06:50 PM »
So who cut the pieces of pork chops for you to taste completely blind?  Obviously there are significant differences between the 3 chops and I have a sneaking suspicion which ones came from the farm versus the grocery store simply from the pictures.  ???

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Pastured pork vs. commercial, taste off.
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2011, 06:05:09 AM »
HD: my wife cut pieces for me as i kept my eyes closed and was fed, and vice versa

Offline mikeamor

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Re: Pastured pork vs. commercial, taste off.
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2011, 06:35:15 AM »
HD: my wife cut pieces for me as i kept my eyes closed and was fed, and vice versa

How romantical  ;D

Seriously though, do you think that the age (time in storage) of the pastured or freezing have tilted the scales?
Unfortunately, a conclusion is usually the place where you got tired of thinking.

Offline vssparky

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Re: Pastured pork vs. commercial, taste off.
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2011, 07:16:35 AM »
Jason, Do you know whether the grocery store chop was "enhanced" or not? Fortunate that there is a grocery store that offers several cuts with a choice.

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Pastured pork vs. commercial, taste off.
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2011, 08:38:12 AM »
Mike: The Caw Caw was frozen for a good deal of time, but it was vac packed frozen, but that may had had an effect. The Gum Creek was never frozen as far as i know. I don't know about time in storage of course for either commercial or gum creek.

VSSparky: it was not enhanced. It was regular publix pork.

Offline vssparky

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Re: Pastured pork vs. commercial, taste off.
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2011, 08:15:23 PM »
"it was not enhanced. It was regular publix pork." Well, that blows that theory!
I want to do a side by side with the grocery store pork loin ($1.99/lb) and "Sterling Silver Meats"($2.99/lb).
Tried the Sterling before and it was good. The loin was prettier in and out of the cryovac but taste wise... not so sure.
-Marc

 

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