In today’s Food section of the New York Times, Melissa Clarke states: “When it comes to pork (pig, Melissa, pig),
I’ll happily eat the ears.
I’ll linger over the liver,
fricassee the feet,
chomp on the chops.
I’d even figure out how to cook the oink if I could get my hands on it.”
“The only cut that has ever left me cold is the tenderloin.” To leave one cold is to “disappoint one, fail to interest one.” For example, from Dictionary.com, this book leaves me cold. This expression, first recorded in 1853, employs cold in the sense of “unenthusiastic” or “indifferent.” Wow! It doesn’t seem that much about a pig would leave Melissa Clarke indifferent. She seems game to go places most of us wouldn’t but somehow a tenderloin (the psoas muscle) leaves her cold.
Let’s look at the psoas for a moment. She is absolutely correct in stating that it’s “a thin lean muscle that runs along the central spine of the pig, its name reflects its reputation as one of the most tender cuts of the animal.”
On us, it’s our fight/flight muscle. It connects from the mid spine to the lessor trochanter of the femur (thigh bone). This muscle allows us to walk, do sit ups and leg lifts. It lies deep in the back body.
You may also know this as filet mignon in a steak house. That’s what you’re eating no matter what you call it. Clinically it’s the psoas muscle.
Melissa’s sage wisdom advises us thusly “The best way to stuff a pork tenderloin is to butterfly it — that is, cut it in half lengthwise, but not quite all the way through, keeping the two pieces attached so you can open the cut like a book.” Like a book! Isn’t that marvelous? She’s inviting us to see this as something so invitational and exploratory, even private perhaps.
To learn more.