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Last Month I posted two pictures on my facebook page asking what pork of people preferred, Mangalista cross, or lean Berkshire. Almost 80% of the people who answered preferred the lean Berkshire. That was what I had expected. It confirmed my suspicion that the majority of people still think fat is bad for you and doesn't necessarily taste very good and if we are talking cafo pork they are right. The fat from your typical cafo pork is tough, chewy, gristly, greasy, and well honestly it tastes rancid. So of course, who would want that? I know I certainly wouldn't. But over the years of raising pastured pigs I have learned a few things about what quality pork is, and it doesn't even come close to what you have been buying at the supermarket.
So you ask," Why do you raise these "Fatty" pigs?"
Well I'm glad you asked!
I never set out to raise fatty pigs. I was on a quest for flavor and healthier pork. I sought out the best of the best. Berkshire's are known for the quality of their meat, and Mangalistsa's the quality & health benefits of their fat and the quality. So why not pick one? Well neither had exactly what I was looking for. Modern Berkshires are too lean, and pure mangalista pigs are bred to have 70% fat. Which is far too much. So I set out to try and breed the best qualities of these two pigs into one animal.
The first cross of these pigs I raised were a 50/50 (in the freezer). I agree they had a bit too much fat. I think I over supplemented them with grain at finishing. I have a second batch of 50/50 pigs and I am experimenting with them. They are on 95% forage/pasture and are being finished on a much smaller portion of grain. These pigs should have significantly less fat that the first ones I butchered.
Even though these pigs have a little bit more fat than most of you are used to, I encourage you to give it a shot! It is amazing and you will never look at pork the same. Below are two videos with more information on the qualities of Mangalista pigs and why I had to include them in my pastured pig program. And unlike any other producer in the us our pigs are raised almost entirely on green feed!