There is something primal about hog roasts that harkens back to an earlier age when man had no other sophisticated means to prepare meat but a fire and spit. Today, hog roasts are a common feature of outdoor festivals celebrations across the UK, particularly throughout the summer months. However, sales for hog roasts have been falling in the past year. Why is it that hog roasts are falling out of favour and flavour?
Hog roasts date back thousands of years but more practically for British history experienced a significant iteration in the Middle Ages. Iron bars used as skewers on wooden frames were used as spit roasts over open flames and featured prominently in many Medieval castle kitchens. They were often elaborate affairs reserved for aristocrats or occasional village-wide celebrations. This was also a time flavoured bastes emerged to add flavour to the traditional roast.
Today hog roasts provide a relatively cheap and practical solution to feeding large groups of people. A single 50kg pig can feed 150 guests at an affordable price, which makes the cuisine popular festival fare. This is not to mention the astonishing wow-factor of roasting an entire hog for hours, indulging the senses in intense stimulation. Furthermore, with an entire hog to sculpt from diners can select their choice of cut.
Falling Out of Flavour
More recently hog roasts are becoming a scarcer sight at festivals and outdoor weddings. People are more likely to choose healthier dishes in light of this summer’s heat wave which has subjected people to temperatures consistently exceeding 30 degrees Celsius.
People have been opting for lighter foods at their summer celebrations over the traditional heavy meat dishes like hog roasts. Salads featuring local produce as well as lighter dishes featuring king prawns, smoked salmon, or oysters are still displaying British cuisine minus the heavier tastes of pork cutlets. The trend towards healthier foods is expected to continue, although whether or not this is simply a function of weather or people’s evolving preferences is uncertain.
Event and festival planners should consider this trend when preparing for the next celebration, particularly if temperatures continue to remain at historic high levels. Although the convenience and practicality of the hog roast may be lost to the fading trend, this leaves room for a new trend in festival cuisine that meets the demands of its attendees.