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When it comes to my blog, Erik (my husband) is sort of like my business manager…I mean, not really, but maybe more like he’s my voice of reason. Eat Drink Pretty isn’t really a business, it’s more like a hobby…BUT I do get the opportunity to have some really cool and fun partnerships from time to time. And I always tell Erik about the opportunities that come through and ask his opinion on whether or not I should accept. After all, he knows best what Eat Drink Pretty is all about and the evolution it has gone through over the past 6 years.

Well, let’s just say that when an opportunity to work with the National Pork Board came across my desk, Erik jumped up and down at the prospect. The guy loves bacon. What can I say? And actually he loves all kinds of pork. We eat it at least weekly. It’s healthy and a really affordable protein. My favorite way to prepare pork is to get a 3 pound pork shoulder/butt roast and throw it in the crockpot for 7-8 hours. We eat it for tacos, sandwiches, burrito bowls, etc.

So needless to say, I definitely said yes to the partnership after hearing more about the cool things going on. This is the first post of three that will be bringing you mouthwatering pork goodness. Starting with this pork sandwich; a cheesy maple bacon cajun pulled pork sandwich to be exact. Holy yum. You all know I’m on maternity leave, right? Which means that I always have a baby in my arms and not a whole lot of motivation to be spending hours making meals. Well they delivered this sandwich and smashed potatoes right to my door. And it was warm. And delicious. I’ll definitely be recreating the recipe sometime soon. You should, too. I mean…a siracha yogurt sauce?! Sharp cheddar cheese, maple bacon and the tender pulled pork?! Like I said, it was a really good day in maternity leave land at our house.

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Pork in pretty packaging, lol. 

 

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As soon as the food arrived, I did what all good food bloggers do…I took pictures of my amazing pork sandwich. But not too many because I could barely wait to shove this thing in my mouth. Do you blame me?

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Pulled pork made in a crock pot is fool-proof. Just add a few ingredients and you are guaranteed to get juicy and tender shreds of pork goodness.

If you are currently drooling over this sandwich be sure to check-out the recipe here. It’s a crock-pot recipe, which is awesome, no fuss no muss. And most of the ingredients you likely have in your fridge/pantry (cheese, maple syrup, yogurt, siracha). Just head out and pick up a pork roast. I typically try to keep one of these in my freezer at all times because it makes quick and easy crockpot meals.

This sandwich actually has some really cool background on how it came to be. The National Pork Board partnered with a data company and analyzed over 30 million social media posts from food lovers (like myself and all of you). They did this to discover what makes up the ultimate American meal. But they found that it may not be as traditionally “American” as many might think.

Sidenote, if you happen to follow me on Instagram then you know I’m all about sharing food photos. Probably too much. Plus a really cute baby and adorable pre-schooler. 

Based on the social media posts shared by Americans the National Pork Board revealed that nearly half of socially shared food content included smoked, hot and spicy flavors paired with popular proteins, while the most common ethnic flavor was Cajun – with Mexican (pulled pork nachos anyone?) and Asian close behind.

“It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a foodie, a novice chef, a restaurant aficionado or just someone who enjoys a great home-cooked meal – diversity is the most common denominator in our tastes, based on what we’re sharing on our plates,” said Pamela Johnson, director of communications, the National Pork Board. “Exotic and unexpected flavors are becoming such staples of our American cuisine; they can easily be seen as our new American palate. We see Sriracha on pizza, ramen on burgers and chorizo in everything from eggs to eggplant parmesan. Flavor is at the center of our country’s table.”

The Ultimate American Meal: A Mashup 

While one meal didn’t emerge as America’s No 1, National Pork Board’s data revealed social driven trends in flavors, ingredients and pairings

- When it comes to culinary passions shared with #foodporn, the diverse flavors of the American palate have one thing in common: pork. Pork is by far the “spiciest” meat with 41% of pork posts including #foodporn. Only one in three posts about beef (31%) included #foodporn and a mere 23% of chicken posts included the sultry hashtag.

- Swiss, Cheddar, American or Brie, it doesn’t matter, so long as it’s cheese. It’s America’s most popular food topping.

- Bacon is the top-mentioned pork product in the majority of the U.S. When it comes to this nationwide favorite, 23% mentioned maple as a preferred seasoning and 35% want it crispy.

- Bread is the most frequently mentioned grain, pulling in 22% of mentions alongside proteins, which confirms that Americans are fans of food that they can really wrap their hands around.

The National Pork Board created this cool info graphic to illustrate how the delicious cheesy maple bacon cajun pulled pork sandwich was derived from social data. It’s kind of nerdy, but also really cool to combine social data and love of food together. I mean, it gave us this delicious sandwich, didn’t it?!

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For more information about this mouthwatering mashup recipe check out the press-release put out by the National Pork Board.

For more pork goodness visit the PorkBeInspired site for the latest data findings from the social media analysis, and check out Pork Be inspired on PinterestFacebook , Twitter and Instagram for global culinary inspiration, recipes and more. 

Tip, the Pork Be Inspired site also has kid-friendly recipes! And don’t forget to check-out the recipe for this delicious pork sandwich. Let me know if you give it a try.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board. All opinions are my own.