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Meat from wooly pigs to be expected in US

Meat from purebred wooly pigs will be available for the US market in summer 2008.

The breed is rather unusual for the US, as the animals hitherto have only been available for the European market.

The Wooly Pig (also known as Mangalitsa or Wollschwein) is a lard-type breed that has dark, juicy and richly marbled meat, the quality of which is unparalleled in the United States.

In Central Europe, the laid-back Mangalitsa, which are direct descendents of the wild boar, are raised with patience on pasture or forage and with a mind toward optimal flavour.

They are finished on barley, rye, hay and/or peas to achieve the lightest and highest-quality fat. Depending on whether the pigs are used for fresh market or cured, the growing time ranges from 9 to 24 months.

Heath Putnam, who currently is the exclusive importer of the Mangalitsa, is working with Gary and So Angell, owners of Rocky Ridge Ranch, located 30 miles west of Spokane, Washington. The team endeavours to raise the herd of Wooly Pigs based on the European model in order to attain the best flavour.

Software engineer
Putnam got to know about the European pig breed while he lived and worked as a software engineer in Europe. In vain, he had sought a comparable quality of pork in the US, that possessed the full-flavour and marbling he had experienced abroad.

Frustrated by the lack of product, Putnam decided to import the Central-European breed.

Related website:
• Wooly Pigs

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