Interesting article in the Charlotte (NC) Observer.
Be sure to check out the link at the bottom for the full story!
Shanklin resort will have you squealing with delight
By Kathleen Purvis
Posted: Wednesday, Apr. 01, 2009SHANKLIN, N.C. It's about time somebody thought of it.
Hog Heaven, on the grounds of an old-breed pig farm in tiny Shanklin, is the world's first all-pork resort.
“I figured if California could have the Napa Valley, maybe it was time for the South to celebrate what makes us truly happy,” says owner Sue Trotter. “And no place appreciates bacon like the South.”
Hog Heaven is also another step in the growing local food movement. Watching pigs frolic while eating an all-pork menu really puts you up close and personal with your food.
Trotter has brought in a charcuterie chef from Italy to produce her proscuittos and pancettas and a pastry chef from California to turn out delicacies like pie crusts and cakes made with lard.
It doesn't stop at the table. In the in-house spa, you can relax under a cooling raw-bacon eye mask while you get a facial with high-quality leaf lard, prized for its antioxidant content.
“Ever seen a pig with wrinkles?” says Trotter.
An overnight stay at Hog Heaven starts with “porktail hour” at 6 p.m. While guests enjoy the house cocktail – smoked bourbon and crispy bacon in a glass rimmed with bacon-flavored salt – a herd of oinkers is led through the front hall of Trotter's Victorian house, their hooves clad in booties to protect the polished-hickory floors.
It's Hog Heaven's version of the duck parade at Memphis' famous Peabody Hotel.
“Anything ducks can do, pigs can do better,” Trotter insists.
Typical meals range from BLTs and bacon chowder at lunch to dinners of Malaysian-style watermelon salad with crispy pork belly, chilled bisque of edamame and bacon, bacon-wrapped mountain trout stuffed with basil and crème caramel flavored with Canadian bacon.
Every night ends with the “jamon jam,” a sing-along for guests who want to ham it up. And of course, turn-down service in your room comes with a bag of pork rinds on your pillow.
Trotter insists she just wants to share her affection for pigs with the world. “I love 'em like I loved my first dog,” she says. “And a lot more than I loved my first husband.
“But you know, pigs have advantages over both of them. No shedding, no fleas, no barking.”