A year or two ago I would have said, without even batting an eye, "pork, and the fattier the beter!" These days, though, pork fat is definitely on the wane. You can still find chunks of seared pork belly on one menu after another (alongside bowls of shrimp and grits, of course), but the heyday of the pig appears to be behind us.
I was out at The Grocery last night and posed the reporter's question about the hot meat of the moment to chef/owner Kevin Johnson, and he paused over that one for a couple of seconds. "You know," he said finally. "I'm really much more interested in fish and vegetables right now."
That seems to be the trend all over town. The meat of the moment is fish--good, fresh fish plucked straight from local waters. Chefs these days are getting into whole fish cookery the same way, just a few years ago, they were all atwitter about carving up whole hogs.
Vaughn, the newly named Barbecue Editor for Texas Monthly and the author of The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue, is a man who knows a thing or two about beef and pork, but even he was impressed with the skipjack.
Fish is the new pork fat. You heard it here first.