Pig, cheese and bivalves

Pig, cheese and bivalves, which is to say a life-changing brunch at The Honeysuckle.

Sunday is King Daddy’s and my staycation day. Recreational eating is our hobby if that can be a hobby. We’re really good at it. Years of practice have paid off. We are happy with the ultra expensive buffet and we’re delirious at the $2 tacos at a ramshackle Mexican place on Nolensville Road. We are equal opportunity eaters.

Today we lived high off the hog at The Honeysuckle.

Honeysuckle Fanny Bay Oysters BC

We started off with a half dozen Fanny Bay oysters from British Columbia. Tiny, sweet and briney. Just delicious. Served with a killer cocktail sauce, horseradish and a mignonette. That was the bivalve portion of our meal. Now on to the pig and cheese: Charcuterie platters.

Honeysuckle Charcuterie Benton Ham Stevens Ham Tennessee Moon Cheese

Everything on them is regional. King Daddy got a platter with Benton’s country ham from East Tennessee, Stevens country ham from Kentucky and Tennessee Moon cheese. Three kinds of mustard, pickled beets and crostini.

Honeysuckle Charcuterie Tasso Lardo Shakerag Blue from Sequachee Cove

Mine was a home run of pork. Cochon tasso ham from Donald Link in New Orleans (okay not regional but he has a joint in Nashville so it counts), lardo from Italy (also not regional but we’re all a little Italian, aren’t we?) and a Sequatchie Cove Shakerag blue cheese.

I will digress for a moment to say I’ve visited the Sequatchie Cove farm in southern Tennessee. I made an excursion there just to buy cheese. It’s not what I had envisioned. It’s not remotely fancy. You have to wait for dusty dogs to lazily amble off the road before you can pass. I bought the cheese from a farmhand who got it out of a 1956 vintage refrigerator in a shed. It was damn fine cheese.

I rarely beat King Daddy at ordering out but I beat him this time. Let’s just talk about lardo for a moment, shall we? What is it? It’s super thin sheets of pig fat from the back of the pig. In other words, it’s fatback. So it is regional after all. You spread it on crostini like butter and swoon just slightly as it hits your tongue.

You can visit a whole wide world here in Nashville these days from cultures all over the planet to a hyper local charcuterie board including cheese from a 1956 refrigerator in a remote Tennessee hollow. Next Sunday we’re headed somewhere else. Not sure where yet. Researching is half the fun. Come on, King Daddy. Let’s eat.

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