It has always been a favourite of mine. With or without the crackling. We have used it as the base for a wonderful -if inauthentic- goulash for nigh on thirty years. And it used to be about as cheap a meat-based dish as you could make.
Back in 1984 when I worked in Tesco I was talking to the butcher there. We were making pork mince out of it. He said how sad it was to be wasting his favourite slice of meat in this way, but he just couldn't shift it otherwise. Which is why when we lived in Nunhead in the eighties we could get belly slices from Peckham market for about 60p a ton. But even ten years ago, when it was creeping onto menus and into recipe books, you could still buy a huge slab at Wimbledon Farmers' Market for £3. At Wimbledon!
Nowadays, it's priced like a high-end joint for a celebratory Sunday roast. Mainly because you can't pass a TV without some chef wibbling on about the stuff. Nor can you go to a mid-priced gastropub nor a Michelin-starred corporate ponce palace without seeing one tiny cube of the stuff settled on a bed of spinach and puy lentils with slug foam on top and a swipe of arse-wipe sauce on the side. Bastards.