Pig Roast

The men show the ladies how the pork pullin' is done  --  with surgical gloves.
The men show the ladies how the pork pullin' is done -- with surgical gloves. (Photos By Allison Dinner For The Washington Post)

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Sunday, July 3, 2005

Let's be honest: Plenty of women think men are pigs. And plenty of men are proud of it. Some even revel in it. Take the annual Men Are Pigs Inc. backyard porkfest, where a real pig is skewered and turns on the spit, the beer is chilling and the tunes are blaring.

That's just the start of the hog-wild attitude that runs rampant at this event: The men are in charge of this party -- no female input allowed (though the ladies are encouraged to don skimpy clothing).

"Basically, the pig is always there under the surface," Andrew Lewis says. "And this is the one day a year we get to express it."

Lewis and fellow "Pigs" Andy Hallowell and Richard Lutz dreamed up this meaty idea three years ago, when talk turned to grilling and their need take things to a more manly level. Lutz's father-in-law, Luis Summers, told stories of his native Peru and roasting pigs. The decision was made to grill a "whole frickin' pig" and Men Are Pigs was born.

Armed with little actual knowledge of how to pull off this pigfest, the three men set out to hunt down their prey. After an unfortunate run-in with a frozen pig (never good!), they found a beauty of a pig at a butcher shop. Next, how to cook it. They rented a spit grill with a rotisserie motor for around $50. Lewis's father, the Rev. Bo Lewis, drove up from Kingston, Tenn., with a truckload of hickory chips, leftovers from a hammer factory. Equipped with cold beer and stamina, the three little pigs, plus the Reverend, tended to the pig all night long. Twelve-plus hours and many stories and debates later, they served a slightly charred but tasty pig to a grateful North Arlington neighborhood.

The pigs have strict guidelines for side dishes. The "no green things" rule means that any salad will find its way to the trash. The side table is littered with macaroni and cheese, cornbread, baked beans and chips. And don't waste your time looking for a glass of cold, crisp chardonnay. Beer reigns the day -- as long as it comes in a keg.

A juicy, roasted pig, may be the goal of this party, but the fun comes in the journey. The all-night bull sessions, the stories told -- that's the good stuff for these Pigs. Marshall Cromwell, who attained Pig status a couple of years ago as the group's membership swelled to include more neighborhood swine, sums it up in the deep thought of the day: "It is a fellowship of men where you feel supported." Elizabeth C. Gonzalez

Corral a Pig Into Your Backyard

Ready to grill your own pig but don't know where to start? Here are some resources to get you going.

Where to find a whole pig

Make arrangements as early as possible.

Chuck's Butcher Shop. 6942 Indian Head Hwy., Bryans Road. 301-283- 0743 or 301-375-8371. The price per pound varies by size as well as whether or not you buy it cooked. A 35 pounder runs about $120 raw and $200 oven roasted.

Papa Weaver's Pork. 346 Caves Ford Lane, Orange, Va. 540-672-1552. http://www.papaweaver.com/ . Pigs range from about 40 to 250 pounds and sell at market price, which is about $1 per pound. You can also rent a drum grill, which can be delivered for about an additional $150.


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