Seth Caswell, Executive Chef of Stumbling Goat Bistro sent us these photos of the Speckschwein we recently delivered to him. As he reported, the hog had very hard, white fat. This is on purpose -the feeding regimen ensures it. Not only is that pig very fat, but the fat is of very high quality.
My wife and I wish Seth would teach other chefs how to utilize pigs. Of all the folks we've sold to, he seems to be the best at using everything a pig offers to his advantage. Grigson is inspiring - but Seth could probably show a lot of chefs how to get started in practical way.
The hog was about 500 lbs live, which is very large compared to most hogs. One can clearly see that such a pig is very different from a typical hog.
We lost the head of this pig at slaughter due to the USDA inspector condemning it. That's an unfortunate consequence of raising the hogs in a free-range system: if the hog gets an abscess or some other medical problem, we can't treat it without terrorizing the pig (e.g. restraining it and treating it) - so we leave it be.
When we asked our fellow Austrian Mangalitsa breeders about this problem they talked about it with resignation: if the pigs run around freely, it is best to leave them alone, even if they have an abscess or some other problem. Pigs don't like to be restrained and treated - and doing so ruins the relationship between the human and the pig. It is best to do nothing and take some loss at slaughter. The longer the pig lives outside, the more likely it will get some injury.