Mark and I spent some time out with one pasture of Mangalitsas recently.  I was reminded all over again of why I like these pigs.

1) They are not fazed by cold.

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Swallow belly Manga.s looking for good food in a snow storm.  No worries!

Swallow belly Manga.s looking for good food in a snow storm. No worries!

 

 

2) They grow well on all sorts of food.

A very fat blond Mangalitsa.

A year old blond looking Mangalitsa, fattened on a combination of grains, forage, and other foodstuffs.  They take longer to get to butcher weight, but grow well on a wide variety of foodstuffs.

 

3) They have a pleasant disposition

Winter wooly pigs with their farmer, Mark Baker.  Straw is the ticket to a warm bed.They came up to us, nuzzled us, were curious about the straw bales we were giving them.  They enjoyed grabbing mouthfuls of straw and acting like bucking broncs in a game of keep-away with their friends.  They were satisfied with the food and shelter, austere as it was.  Mark laid down in the straw with them and they nibbled the toes of his boots.

 

4)They are tasty.

Mangalitsa carcass: belly/bacon and loin.

This is a center cut from a young Mangalitsa carcass, showing the creamy fat and rich red meat typical of Mangalitsa.   The meat has tone without being touch.  The fat is white with a streak of pink and hard.  And with their monounsaturated fat and GMO free meat, they are good for you, too.

A table full of Mangalitsa cuts, ready for curing.  The fat is just as good as the meat!

A table full of Mangalitsa cuts, ready for curing. The fat is just as good as the meat!

 

If we didn’t raise them commercially, I’d still want them for our own family.  We could never go back to a standard breed of pig.  These guys are a pleasure to raise and produce the best quality pork available anywhere.   As Brian Polcyn likes to say, “All hail the pig!”