Food Stuff

Illustration By Marianne Mancina

Why is it that duck cooked and preserved in duck fat, called confit, is revered as a triumph of French gastronomy and costs $20 a serving in fine-dining establishments, whereas pork cooked in pork fat, called carnitas, is still orbiting in the humbler spheres of neighborhood taquerias? Surely our friend the pig is the king of meats, and lowly carnitas have all the artery-clogging, savory deliciousness of their more-exalted French cousins. I’m not really complaining, though: This way, I can enjoy my fat-soaked meat at a fraction of the price—and without waiting at a fancy white-tablecloth restaurant. Instead, I just have to walk to the new taqueria in my neighborhood, La Fiesta, where the carnitas are rich and slightly crunchy at the edges. A taco, topped with sharp onion and spicy, bright-flavored salsa, will set you back a mere $1.55. Truly, carnitas reign supreme. 1105 Alhambra Boulevard, (916) 454-5616.