Last night we had the privilage of attending a Mighigan Land Use Institute event at the Grand Traverse Resort. There were great chefs and farmers with samples of their skills. There were people involved in all levels of the food industry to network with. We had a table which sported our new video (thank-you Tim Dewey) of a tour of our farm along with a new brochure about the Mangalitsa pigs, the pastured poultry, and the chicken processing. We also got our first taste of our own Mangalitsas. Resort Executive Chef Ted Cizma had received a whole hog and processed it on Monday. Tuesday evening he and his staff served fried pork belly at the event. It was fantastic. Even though the pig was not mature the meat had the flavor we remember of our standard mature hogs. It also had a great deal of belly meat and fat such that it could provide the material for pork belly. Our experience with standard hogs was that you couldn’t get a decent belly off them unless they were a minimum of 2oo lbs. dressed (this one was about 120). We were very impressed with how the Mangalitsa pig performed. Chef Scott had prepared some of the lard. He rendered the lard, added some spices (I wish I could remember which ones), then whipped the fat enough to make a butter with it. I tried it on a garlic melba toast. It was very good. I’m not a big fat eater, so wouldn’t want much of it, but the flavor was good. The butter had a lard flavor, but it wasn’t as strong or heavy as I remember lard I’ve rendered from standard hogs. Again, we were impressed with the Mangalitsa’s performance. Hats off to chefs Ted and Scott for their preparation of it. We understand that Mangalitsa will be available on the menu at the Resort, so you can get your own taste!
In creating the brochure I finally pulled together Mangalitsa information and wrote it up. I’ll add it to the Articles page, so please check there for that information about the pigs. You can also get more information at Heath Putnam’s Wooly Pigs blog website. He has a wealth of information there.