Looking on the web, I saw Dawn and Eric Wright's food blog talking about our Mangalitsa pork. That's a Mangalitsa jowl in that pan.
Pork belly is hot now, but whenever people buy it, I advise them to try jowls instead. If you can sit down and eat a super-fatty Notorious C.U.T. (a cut of Mangalitsa ribs and belly) you might as well eat jowl and get the maximum flavor. Someday jowls will replace belly as the popular cut. People just need to learn how great jowls are.
Anyway, I'm very happy that the Wrights liked the Mangalitsa jowls so much. I noticed that they said it was as good as the hype:
It turns out that this pig is worth every bit of hype that’s been surrounding it. What incredible flavor. The stuff is tender, moist and just melts in your mouth. It is insanely rich and I can’t recall a more flavorful meat I’ve ever eaten. Just amazing.When my wife and I were touring Austria, eating at Austrian farmhouses, whenever we expressed how wonderful we thought the Mangalitsa tasted, our Austrian hosts acted as if they'd heard it a million times. It actually got to be really irritating for us. We were having a profound eating experience. For them it was probably the hundredth time they'd heard how great it was.
Recently, Jess Thompson, food author and personal chef and her friends told us that their Mangalitsa meal was one of their best ever. Without meaning to, we acted completely blase about it. When one of them pointed out, we apologized.
Recently, Rebecca Denn (Seattle PI Food Editor) wrote:
When I first heard about the Mangalitsas I wondered if they would turn out to be over-hyped, and was prepared for chefs to tell me that the pork emperor had no clothes. It didn't turn out that way. Luce, for instance, noted that he's been fortunate enough to work in both France and Italy as well as some fine places in the U.S., that he's worked mainly with heritage breeds and even set off on a cross-country search a few years ago for the best (he found the Red Wattle pig to be "incredible"). Even he thinks the Mangalitsas are the closest thing to European pork he's found here.Anyway, The Herbfarm is buying six live pigs from us. It is a huge deal that they are buying live pigs. Since when do restaurants buy live pigs? How old-fashioned!
They'll fatten them on their place, feeding them hazelnuts to give them superior fatty acid composition. They'll raise them big and fat and then kill and cure them. I just hope they give them some food with tannins (like acorns) so that they get that super-nutty flavor.
For many reasons, the Herbfarm team is very farsighted to do this. They save money and get to kill their pigs on their schedule. There's nothing like owning them and taking delivery to lock in a supply. I'm happy they'll be in charge of the slaughter. I've disappointed them a few times now - not being able to give them the livers or heads that they wanted. Hopefully they'll have better luck, given that they'll be dealing directly with the slaughter plant.
Keith Luce and his team are a joy to work with. They've been very supportive of our efforts with our Berkshires and Mangalitsa. Keith Luce has helped us to increase the quality of the pork that we produce by pointing out some mistakes at the slaughterhouse.
In other news, Michael Ruhlman wrote about the Notorious C.U.T. that we sent him. I'm very happy that he finally finished and and tried it out. He said positive things about it too, of course.