We hold true, here in the U.S, the inalienable right to eat what some consider the food of the gods. We believe pork belly is a truly American dish. We treat it with reverence. Truth be told pork, in particular, the meaty, fatty belly is loved and used in cuisines all over the world. It is no less American than it is Korean, Phillipino, Japanese, or Taiwanese.
Some argue hogs were domesticated in China around 4900BC. Romans raised two types of pigs, one with a larger frame known to have lots of lard to render. While a smaller pig was raised primarily for its’ meat.
It is said Queen Isabella insisted Christopher Columbus transport 8 pigs on his journey to Cuba in 1493. They were hardy animals that could survive the trip with minimal care and could provide meat in an emergency.
Hernando de Soto brought the first 13 domesticated pigs to the Americas in 1539 when he landed in Tampa Bay Florida. Within three years, his herd had grown to almost 700.