Indulge me while I backtrack to Oxford, Miss., where I savored this fine plate a couple of short weeks ago.
Dan Latham at L&M Salumeria learned to cure from the main man, Aramandino Batali, when he worked with Mario in NYC. He's got the gift.
And when he was having trouble sourcing the right kind of pork, he decided to start his own operation: Pancetta Ranch.
This restaurant is definitely on the top of my list of reasons to make the pilgrimage to William Faulkner's hometown. Among the many others: City Grocery (where you can give humanitarian chef John Currence a high five from me), Ajax Diner -- loved that smoked catfish spread! -- Taylor Grocery (home of the world's greatest catfish and hush puppies), a tailgating party during football season in the Grove (look for Dave Darnell's tent and tell him I sent you), Square Books (the coolest bookstore in the universe) and Bottletree Bakery. There's much more, but half the fun is discovering a place on your own, right?
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