Cuban-style grilled pork chops

Kick off summer with quality pork

Start summer with high-quality pork, all the while remembering the main reason for Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer. Lost in the long weekend is the real reason that some people get a day off on Monday.

Decoration Day, as it was originally called after the American Civil War in 1868, was established to take the time to decorate the graves of the Union soldiers who gave their lives. Apparently, the Union and Confederate sides had competing holidays on different days, but the two were merged by the 20th century to become today’s Memorial Day to honor all Americans who have died in military service.

Please remember all of those who gave up who knows how many days of their lives so that you can have one day each spring off from work. A day off from work, unless you are one of the many American’s who calls farming their profession.

Crop farmers may be able to take a day off, but that is not an option for livestock producers. There are no days off when pigs, cows, lambs or hens rely on you for their well-being.

Day off or not, everybody has to eat. If you are hosting a backyard barbecue for many, or just a cookout for a few, be sure to make the most of it as you kick off the start of summer. Make everyone proud as you choose the best quality pork that you will be throwing on your grill, but do not forget it once it’s on the grill.

A lot of work, time and money have gone in to getting that hog to end up as the pork chop on your grill, so don’t let a couple minutes of grill apathy ruin it. Also, do your homework to grill, fry or broil a meal that you will be proud to serve to others. Gone are the days of having to cook pork beyond recognition and flavor. A healthy, flavorful chop can be savored when done perfectly to an internal ending temperature of 145 degrees F and let it rest for three minutes.

Granted, the quality of any meat cut is a personal choice. Some like a thin, light, dry slab of meat; some like a thick chop with some marbling, while still others prefer a big meaty chop with lots of marbling and even a fair amount of fat. And the beauty of American fine-dining is that they are all correct.

Pork quality depends on the person who is buying the meat, who is manning the grill and who is sitting at the place setting. This Memorial Day, and all summer long, find the pork quality that suits your tastes and keeps going back to that supplier.

Finding a consistent, quality pork product is well worth the journey; you won’t be disappointed.

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