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Menus feature 7% more pork dishes amid sausage craze, cheap prices

November 15, 2011 | 11:17 am

PORK

Restaurants are pigging out, increasingly offering pork on their menus, according to new research.

Dishes that have gone whole (or part) hog are up 7% over the year, according to the research group Technomic. The meat, which has resisted food price increases better than beef and even chicken, is showing up in appetizers, side dishes and entrees.

Chipotle restaurants use naturally raised pork in their carnitas and Applebee’s now serves red beans and rice with andouille sausage. McDonald’s also brought back its cult-favorite McRib sandwich this fall.

Menus laden with sausage and hot dog items are also spreading across the Southland, spurred on by the growing number of beer gardens and wiener restaurants.

But pork isn’t always the main attraction. Eateries are pairing it with other meats and even shellfish.

And diners aren’t only seeing chunks of ham. Bacon, whose menu appearances have risen 7% annually for the past few years, is also a main driver of pork’s recent popularity.

Perhaps this calls for more restaurants to prepare turbaconducken -- chicken stuffed in duck stuffed in a turkey wrapped in bacon. Or not.

RELATED:

McDonald's McRib pork sandwich returns

Beer gardens growing in Southern California, with a twist

It's a Dog Town: The hot dog enjoys a renaissance in Los Angeles.

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: John MacDougall / AFP/Getty Images

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