#IATourDePork = Uniting influential Iowa bloggers with pig farmers and friends of the pork industry.
Several Iowa bloggers got a closer look at modern pork production in Iowa this week, through the aforementioned blogger tour put on by The Iowa Pork Producers: #IATourDePork. They toured Brenneman Pork, with Erin Brenneman. The bloggers got to meet some of Erin’s family, and their modern pig farm, Erin answered questions and showed the bloggers everything she does on a daily basis raising pigs. The highlight for Jenni, from the Gingered Whisk was pulling a pig. I was so impressed!
Later that evening we enjoyed a pork-centric dinner, thoughtfully prepared by Chef Dominic Ianarelli of Splash/Jethro’s Restaurants. Sometimes we focus so much on the consumer, we forget how integral chefs and foodservice people are in the equation of supporting the industry we are in. If there ever was the “Perfect Pork Service”, this was it.
The starter course was a flight of hams, some aged 400 days, others the restaurant had been on a waiting list for over a year and a half for. I savored each bite on this plate, and the pairing to go along with was perfect, and bubbly… which is genius because it really moved each flavor of ham away for the next bite.
We had a wine expert on hand (who happens to be a friend of mine from high school, Hi ANDY!) which was very interesting. I loved hearing how the different wines were chosen for each dish. One of the favorite dishes of the evening was the Milk Braised Pork Cheeks with Shrimp Tortellini on Herbed Goat Cheese Fondue. All noise and conversation halted as everyone was laser focused on this dish. Seriously, I’m doing more seafood/pork pairings. It was delicious!
To end the tour, we all created a dish at Country Club Market with Chef Terrie Kohl. We had a great time and I got a bushel of new pork inspiration to bring into my meal planning over the next few months.
I worked on a Mushroom and Leek Risotto with Alicia, and Jenny (on the far left) made the banana topping and set it on fire for the bananas foster. It was great!
I was very sad I had to miss the tour at Erin Brenneman’s this time but we had quite a few things going on around home, and one of our show girls decided to lay down and have her pigs that day too. Here’s the XXL guy that came at the end of her litter, he needed help getting out.
It was wonderful to meet the bloggers who took time out of their summer to see how modern pork production works.  I look forward to seeing their posts and will come back here as they do make their posts and leave links for you to explore.
PS: I was not compensated to write this post, just felt like giving credit where it was due!

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  • Reply Josie McQuillen July 23, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    You’re amazing at what you do and you’re such an inspiration to young agriculturalist like myself!

  • Reply Jenny Unternahrer July 24, 2015 at 12:44 am

    I had a great time learning about piggies, trying and making new pork dishes and hanging with all these great bloggers. Thanks for sharing Cristen!

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