When first hearing the words "pig out," many things may come to mind.
But for two business owners based in Canada, the meaning is clear: roast a whole pig in front of an entire audience.
Its head and entire body.
"We cook pigs in a very showy manner," said Anne Dickson, co-owner of PigOut, a mobile catering unit concept based in Ontario. "Customers see the whole roasting."
Dickson and her husband, Alan, are looking to expand their business to the United States, with initial interest in the Carolinas. They have singled out Beaufort County in particular because of its festival-loving population.
"There are a lot of events there," Dickson said. "We're more of an event provider than a food provider."
The catering truck -- or "trainer," as the British-born Dickson calls it -- shows up to an event and serves guests meat straight from a rotating skewered pig.
Grossed out? Actually, the graphic visual is supposed to be part of the experience.
"You don't forget about a whole pig roasting," Dickson said. Typically, she said, people then share photos and accounts of the experience on social media, which creates buzz for the business. "It's something you can't get at home."
To say the least.
Dickson and her husband operated stores and restaurants for more than 20 years in Great Britain. After immigrating to Canada eight years ago, they took one of their favorite parts about being restaurateurs -- roasting pigs -- and made it their main event.
In addition to the pigs, Dickson said PigOut's menu includes other (read: less visually arresting) protein options such as pulled pork and grilled chicken, and sides such as stuffed peppers, seasonal vegetables, hot and cold salads, and platters.
Dickson said she hopes to launch PigOut by March in the Lowcountry.
When I admitted to Dickson that I was a vegetarian, she laughed and asked me if dining out was a challenge. I told her about a time when I went to a restaurant and ordered green beans, but was told by my considerate waiter that they weren't vegetarian.
"Because they were cooked with bacon, right?" she asked.
"Yes," I replied. How did she know?
She laughed. "Because that's what makes it taste good!"
Follow reporter Ashley Fahey at twitter.com/IPBG_Ashley.
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