I think if you were to judge anywhere serving pork related goodness, it should be weighed equally between the quality of the pork and the brilliance of the pork-related puns.. CASTROMOFO, a pop-up pulled pork selling genius, has plenty of pork-related puns and porcine-d song lyrics to make you giggle. I particularly enjoyed ‘Getting Piggy Wid’ It’ and the slightly more bovine ‘You Don’t Need Teef to Eat our Beef’. The sign offering The Kanye Western – slow roasted pulled pork, homemade slaw, Jim Beam BBQ sauce on a large soft sub roll, also made me smile as I walked up to the CASTROMOFO pop-up in Liverpool’s Williamson Square.
I first encountered this purveyor of pig-related excellence at the annual Hope Street Feast back in September. As per the entire year to date, it was pouring heavily with rain but nothing would have stopped me from joining the never-ending queue round the block for a taste of the pulled pork. I was hooked. I think pulled pork is definitely one of the foods of the moment, made famous in this country by Adam Richman and his food porn tv shows in which he finds little BBQ shacks in the middle of cotton-pickin’ country and we all swoon. CASTROMOFO have the best pulled pork I’ve encountered, actually it’s as delicious as Camp and Furnace and I love their pulled pork. Soft and moreish and full of flavour.
At the moment, they are selling from a stall at the Liverpool German Christmas Market, a poor relation of those held in Edinburgh and Manchester. Liverpool has tried but there is very little to lure people into a cold and rainy city after work, and what is there isn’t original (with the obvious exception of CASTROMOFO.) I saw on Twitter the other day someone said perhaps if we had British Christmas Markets that could support local and independent businesses, we wouldn’t find our small shops closing down and our supermarkets and retail giants thriving and they make a good point. A month long Hope St Feast with individual artisanal food producers and great pop-ups and opportunities to buy christmas presents from local crafty, arty types seems like the obvious solutions but with the rates so high, these markets only attract out of towners. Perhaps the council should take a long look at what would draw people into the city, and not just what fills the coffers.
Back to the point, I have been meaning to visit the Williamson Square CASTROMOFO for ages but I don’t really ever find myself visiting Williamson Square and I think the same could be said of a lot of people. They’ve set it up as a sort of food village, but it’s ghastly and I feel for the independent businesses who have to set up here. A spot on Church Street would guarantee much higher footfall. That said, I’m really hoping that CASTROMOFO will draw people over to this spot. The other evening, I had to nip into town and I decided that I would treat myself to something delicious from there. I’m not sure what it was called. It may well have been the Kanye Western but it was a soft and fluffy sub, heaped with delicious, softly spiced and flavoursome pulled pork. Atop this sat the prettiest coleslaw I have seen in a while, onion, red, white and green cabbage, carrots in a light mayonnaise and then a slathering of BBQ sauce. Attempting to eat this in a public place isn’t easy and I ended up with quite a lot of slaw in my scarf and sauce on my nose but it was delicious and the perfect hot treat at the end of the day.
It was £4, which is extremely good value for ‘street food’ where people seem to charge a premium for things that never taste that good. I implore you to visit them if you’re passing through Williamson Square or if you work in town and head towards St John’s to catch a bus or even if you’re nipping in to do some christmas shopping. It’s always great to see clever, talented pop-ups and if we don’t embrace them, we will lose out.