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4 Catt. 1: In re PORC

2011 December 7

JEREMY, C.J., delivered the opinion of the Cart. CATTLEYA, J., delivered a separate concurrence.

Holy duck! A duck truck, or something approaching it: a “mobile gastronomic enterprise” purveying a “Gin [and] Juniper Duck Sausage,” described as a “hunter style sausage on mixed greens, w[ith] balsamic reduction.” This truck, which has so won my admiration from its mere inclusion of a duck dish, is Purveyors of Rolling Cuisine (“PORC”), an establishment specializing in “all things meat.” The presence of duck required that we grant cartiorari in this case. A chorus of mutterings of “duck sausage,” “duck sausage!,” “duck sausage?” behind us as we waited to order only confirmed the soundness of our grant.

I begin with a matter of judicial conduct. Followers of the opinions of this Supreme Cart may recall that in an early case, my sister began her opinion by addressing a certain “distasteful matter,” namely my “severe” love for lamb, which my colleague thought necessitated my recusal. See Metro Halal Food v. Tasty Kabob, 1 Catt. 2 (2011). She has since reiterated this belief and took what she supposed to be remedial action in an outwardly unlawful manner. See In re Tasty Kabob, 3 Catt. 4 (2011). I have time and time again refused to recuse myself merely because I am a devotee of lamb. See In re Ali Khan Express, 3 Catt. 5 (2011); Metro Halal Food, 1 Catt. 2 (2011) (Jeremy, C.J., concurring). In Metro Halal Food, I did note that “lamb ranks only second in my hierarchy of preferred proteins. Well behind duck, in fact, for which my love and admiration is indeed ‘severe.’” Metro Halal Food, 1 Catt. 2 (2011) (Jeremy, C.J., concurring) (emphasis in original). Pertinently, I noted that a “duck truck” would “present a far better case for my colleague’s argument [that I recuse myself due to severity of love for a particular food product].” Id. In this case, while not confronted with a “duck truck” per se, we are indeed confronted with a duck offering. Still, as I said I would in Metro Halal, I once more refuse to recuse myself. See id.

My sister has twice reiterated her belief that truck food should be street food, that is “the kind[] of food[] that can be cooked in front of you and [is] meant to be eaten with your hands, without forks, while standing up.” In re Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 5 (2011); In re Hula Girl, 3 Catt. 7 (2011) (citing Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 5). I concurred in both cases. I hereby more explicitly note my approval of this logic and of this definition. PORC’s gin and juniper duck sausage passes muster (mustard?) under our Eat Wonky test. It is a playful take on that most American of street foods—the hot dog—and perhaps a nod in particular to that most Washingtonian of street foods: the half-smoke.

PORC: Purveyors of Rolling Cuisine

In the following sections, I analyze each aspect of the sausage separately.

Casing. The first thing one notices about a sausage is its casing. PORC’s casing is spectacular. It is perhaps one of the finest casings I have encountered anywhere, within or without our subject-matter or geographic jurisdiction. As my teeth bit into it, a loud snap was heard, like a dam bursting, unleashing a few airborne globules of moisture, one of which may or may not have reached the cheek of the stranger to my left.

Preparation. The sausage was perfectly grilled, which lent an attractive sheen to the spectacular casing and preserved its spectacle. While I enjoy a decent boiled half-smoke from one of the city’s original mobile gastronomic enterprises, topped with mustard and sauerkraut (the half-smoke, not the truck), on a cold DC day, there is something special about a sausage that is grilled instead.

Texture. The texture of the sausage is what most reminds me of a half-smoke. The meat is ground much more coarsely than a traditional street hot dog, such that each bite differs ever so slightly from the one that precedes it.

Taste. The taste of the sausage on its own is decent, but not overwhelming. The flavor of duck is not immediately obvious, and, more importantly, the sausage is not as heavily spiced as I might have expected. I was prepared to grant a partial remand on this point, but once I tried the sausage together with the mixed greens and balsamic reduction below it, the taste of the sausage suddenly made sense. The two complement each other beautifully. The bun in which the two sit is of the right texture and consistency to absorb the reduction and balance out the other two components. (The bun was a bit dry, but given that we tried the dish toward the end of a long day of Truckeroo, I’m willing to overlook this point.)

Cole Slaw. The dish also comes with a side of mayonnaise-less cole slaw, which, I must say, was among the most interesting of cole slaws I’ve tasted. It tasted almost of ground mustard seed. It had a lovely, bright acidity. It was never too sweet, as many cole slaws are. Added to the top of the sausage and the mixed greens and the bun, it made for quite a delicious bite. A nod to sauerkraut, perhaps. (Without actually calling it sauerkraut. Doing so would be as egregious as calling a raw-cabbage slaw “kimchi-style.” Cf. In re TaKorean, 1 Catt. 4 (2011). It is well known how such nomenclature irks the Justices of this Cart.)

Gin & Juniper Duck Sausage

I’m not sure if this dish is part of PORC’s regular repertoire, or whether it is trotted out only at special events. If the latter, I recommend that it become the former. Not only because it is duck, and my love for duck is indeed “severe,” but because it is quite a good dish in its own right.


CATTLEYA, J., concurring.

Despite my brother’s devotion to duck, he has tasted PORC’s duck sausage with a just and fair tongue. This was $7 very well spent.

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