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ALL ABOARD: Deep fried, pan fried and sun dried in the Heartland
Greetings from our Hoosier home front.
Were back home again in Indiana, in Elkhart, The City with the Heart.
Elkhart has a preferable slogan to the first college town I domiciled, Delaware, Ohio, The Armpit of the Midwest.
No wonder I flunked out.
Its all about attitude and longitude.
So were back home again in Indiana participating in the 42nd Annual POPPTS Feast Fest.
If you are unfamiliar with this acronym, please do not bother to Google.
Despite tenure, POPPTS is largely unfamiliar nationally except to its obsessed participants, many of whom are frequently familiar locally.
POPPTS celebrates life in Pursuance of Perfect Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches.
With membership yet fully disclosed to its own, POPPTS continues to follow faithfully a mission statement of pork persistence in locating and enjoying the perfect pork tenderloin sandwich.
A derivative of the Wiener Schnitzel, the pork tenderloin is prominent in the Great Lakes region of the United States, particularly Indiana.
In 1998, a 15-minute documentary, In Search of the Famous Hoosier Breaded Tenderloin, ran continuously for two days at the 2001 POPPTS Feast Fest held in Liberty, Mo., not only an excellent location for the sandwich, but also the site of the first daytime bank robbery in 1866, as well as the earlier stoning and jailing of Mormon leader Joseph Smith Jr.
According to Wikipedia, the primary differences between a pork tenderloin sandwich and a Wiener Schnitzel are that a pork tenderloin sandwich is made exclusively using pork loin, deep fried instead of pan fried.
A pork tenderloin sandwich is best prepared from a thinly sliced piece of pork tenderloin, hammered thin with a meat mallet. The meat is then dipped in flour, eggs and breadcrumbs before being deep fried in oil.
After cooking, the prepared pork tenderloin is served on a hamburger bun. The sandwich can have many condiments such as cheese, lettuce, onions, pickles and mayonnaise. The sandwich is usually served with a side of French fries, though onion rings are often used instead.
Wikipedia fails to mention how superb the pork tenderloin sandwich tastes with a 10-cent draft beer, particularly when one is underage. Such was my experience in college while pretending to play pool and shuffleboard at Shelbys Tavern in Liberty, where a fake ID cost the same as a used refrigerator.
OK, Freeman, take your Missouri show-me stuff back to Indiana.
Quite honestly, given the quality of the Elkhart eateries, as well as their abundance of superior pork tenderloin sandwiches, we may have to stay here another week before announcing the 2008 POPPTS winners.
Dont hold the mayo.
Now is the time.
I can taste it.
I can feel it.
I know that between now and then, between bun and bun, the perfect pork tenderloin is right here in Elkhart, Ind.
We must keep looking.
We must keep porking.
In the words of Otis Redding, we must keep trying a little tenderness.