Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mangalitsa, Iberico, Revelatory Experiences

I've been reading the Iberico-related articles these days. I'm ignoring the ones that talk about what the stuff is or why it is special - as they often get the details wrong.

The ones I'm reading are the ones like this - the ones where people describe their responses to eating the stuff. There seem to be a few components to these articles:
  • Marvel at the cost
  • Marvel at the quality and addictiveness of the product
For me, these articles are exciting. A few quick points:
  • Mr. Oak - (Kylan Hoover -- the man who will be the producer of the highest quality Mangalitsa pork in the Western Hemisphere, is going to make some serious waves. Nobody in America is going to have such pigs - and his will be marketed in the Bay Area, the best market for such pork. For what it is worth (and it is worth a lot there), he'll be "local".
  • When I explain that Mangalitsa is similar to the Iberian pigs, people are going to know what that means (even if they don't believe me). The ones who try our stuff will hopefully become Mangalitsa converts. At some point, Mangalitsa will enter the foodie lexicon. It won't just be pig geeks talking about Mangalitsa.
  • There are two providers of Mangalitsa in the USA now. There are no USA providers of pork from similar lard-type breeds (e.g. Iberian). Mangalitsa producers have a head start. Because the two producers aren't going to cut corners, "Mangalitsa" is going to mean "super-premium".
  • More and more folks are having "revelatory" Mangalitsa experiences. The experiences parallel those of Iberico eaters. The decision to import and raise Mangalitsa is looking less and less crazy each day.
If you want to eat some Mangalitsa, please go to Monsoon in Seattle, or go buy some at the University District Farmers Market in Seattle from us.


Arnold Hapstein said...

Two producers now? Before you were insisting you were the only source.......... Interesting change of tone. Of course it is still rather pointless.

Heath said...

Arnold - I'm the only guy in America with Mangalitsa breeding stock.

It isn't rather pointless.

Now customers who want barley-finished Mangalitsa can get them from me. If they want acorn-finished Mangalitsa, they can get it from Mr. Oak.

cuisinier said...

Hey Heath, I ma very interested in hearing more about your pigs and cooking with them. I am a chef in Seattle, and have heard nothing but great things. Jason from Crush has recommended you highly.
my contact is
I hope to hear from you soon.

Andrew Alan McGill said...

I am a humble college student and I merely wish to thank you for enlightening me on the subject of woolly pigs. I never knew such animals existed! They look awesome!

Do you know the difference between, say, your woolly pigs and a javalina (outside of the SW A.K.A. the collared peccary)?

Heath said...

Andrew Alan McGill -- Please check these out:

If you look at peccaries and sus scrofa, you'll see they come from different families -- Suidae versus Tayassuidae. Nevertheless, there are many similarities. I know pig geneticists who do differential analysis of swine versus peccaries.

Mom said...

Can you hook us up WAAAAAYYY over here in Boston with some yummy wooly pigs? To raise or to stick right on the grill? That would be wicked pissa. Really.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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