Thursday, 5 February 2009 12:30 PM

Perfect Pork Without Processing Equipment

Cooking the perfect pork roast is a must when it comes to a typical Solomon Islands feast but the process is minus expensive machinery for the locals.

While more developed countries depend on proper equipment for pork processing, Solomon Islanders still proudly use "just knives and our hands" to slaughter and clean up a pig.

Solomon Times had the chance to witness John Waiho and Patrick Wapira slaughter a pig and the process, though mucky, was interesting to watch.

"We are proud that we don't need machines to operate on pigs during feasts because we are able to use simple knives and our hands to do the job," Mr. Wapira said.

He said while it may look easy, "it is not just about slicing up the pig into pieces".

"We are always careful when operating a pig because when it comes to cleaning out its intestines, a slight mistake is poison to those who will consume," he said.

Solomon Times was informed that those involved in cleaning of the pig's intestines always make sure their hands are thoroughly washed.

"It is like doctors making sure their hands are clean before they operate, that is also the case with those involved in slaughtering and cleaning up of pigs."

The process turns out to be a hard task as men wrestle with the pig to slaughter and involves more than one would expect.

"First we slaughter then we take dead coconut leaves to use when heating up the pig over the fire in order to make the process of cleaning out its intestines an easy job," Mr. Wapira explained.

The pig is then transferred on carefully laid out banana leaves, ready for cleaning out of its intestines.

"We are very fortunate and very proud to be skilled in this area especially when feasting with pork is very common in our culture," he said.

Mr. Wapira said the task is usually done without any female presence "because cleaning out intestines is a hard task and we do not need the distractions of women watching us."

He said women in their community get involved after the cleaning up and are responsible to help slice up, distribute and cook the pork.

"Most young boys these days do not see the importance of learning these things but they should feel responsible to educate themselves not just in the outside system but also our cultures as well."

Mr. Wapira stressed on the high need for the young generation to "value their roots because if they continue to value influences from outside, I'm sure some of our traditional beliefs and way of doing things will be lost forever."

But for Solomon Islanders who continue to host typical island feasts all year round, the process of pork cleaning for locals without the need for expensive machinery shows great skills in the appearance of the processed meat and the texture of the meat.