Those cunning matchmakers

Kiddo#4 has discovered “leftovers.” I’m not sure why, but we’ve had several variants of this conversation:

Kiddo#4: Is there any leftovers?

Me: Um, I think so. Yeah, here are some green beans.

Kiddo#4: YAY!

And then he sits down and eats the green beans he refused to touch the night before. For some reason, just by being a leftover, the food has elevated itself in importance above anything else he could possibly desire. This holds true even for foods he greeted the night before with “Yuck.”

So while he sits beside me eating last night’s pork chops (cold — I swear, I did offer to heat it up, but no, cold is part of the leftover mystique) he just said to me, “Make it chicken salad.”

I don’t think you can pulverize a pork chop into tiny cubes and douse it with mayonnaise, onion powder, etc and end up with anything edible. I’ve never heard of anyone doing that, at least, and I figure there’s a reason.

But here’s my question: why? Why do we make chicken parmigiana, eggplant parmigiana, veal parmigiana…but not pork parmigiana? Why not beef parmigiana? (Yes, you can, but really, who makes them? They’re not on the menu at Olive Garden.)

And it’s not just that beef wouldn’t taste good with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese because people willingly eat pizza-burgers.

Why when I go into the grocery store do I find chicken broth, turkey broth and beef broth, but not pork broth, lamb broth or ham broth?

So although I said “no” to the pork-salad (and now he’s moved on to eating leftover broccoli) what I want to know is why.

Is it just a convenience thing? After all, you make a chicken for your family, and then often there isn’t a second night’s meal left on the bird, but you need to use it for something. Hence pot pies, soups, stews…and chicken salad. But a large beef roast is going to end up with the same issue, and we don’t make “beef salad.”

Who decided what goes with what?


  1. Monica

    Hmm, don’t know the answer to your question. I’m too busy laughing at Kiddo 4’s discovery of leftovers. Cold green beans and pork chops! Can he come visit us? With just the two of us in the house, we always have a lot left over.

  2. tottergirl

    I don’t know. But with beef, you make hash.

  3. capt_cardor

    My daughter loves cold “Chicken with Cashews” and cold potstickers in the morning for breakfast.


  4. Illya

    Beef and pork tend to be cut thicker than the other meats. You could probably make a very tasty parm with beef if you used the cut you use of brassiola (very,very thinly cut beef). Same thing for pork. I’ve never seen prok cut extremely thin. Not sure what cut of pork they would use. Shoulder???? Loin???
    Another reason might be that pork tends not to be as fork tender when cooked, but then again I have never had a cut of pork which was that finely cut.

  5. Cricket

    I used to eat cold pizza. It was traditional for moving day when I was a student (gotta love co-op, change cities every 4 months). Hot fresh pizza the night before, and cold while packing the last few things the next morning.

    Pork is usually more tender than beef. Dad never bothered to drill “cut across the grain” into me for pork. Schnitzel is finely-cut and pounded pork. The store sells a touch cut that they tenderize, but my MIL (and therefore I) use proper pork loin or butterfly chops. Same for rouladin.

    (“therefore I”. Sounds like it should be “myself”, but it’s the subject. “and” is for equals. “Therefore I do it too,” is correct. Ideas?)

  6. Cricket

    Also, Chinese restaurants cut pork and beef very thin.

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