Mangalitsa fans know that Mangalitsa goes to 11.
Mangalitsa is the western hemisphere's best-tasting and lardiest hog breed. There's nothing comparable. Unlike Europe, America doesn't have any Mangalitsa substitutes.
As the importer (and only breeder) of Mangalitsa, Wooly Pigs brought not only the pigs, but a new system of raising hogs for optimum fat and meat quality to America. The system is about producing the absolute best-tasting fat and meat by controlling the things that matter, not meeting organoleptically irrelevant (and arguably misnamed) standards like "USDA organic" or "Certified Humane Raised and Handled".
As a result, Mangalitsa producers are the only ones in America producing pork as good as the world's best. Anyone who wants to to produce, eat, process or distribute the best-tasting pork in America or Canada will use Mangalitsa.
Food-loving Americans have embraced Mangalitsa more than I could have ever hoped:
- Wooly Pigs' first sale was to the French Laundry, America's best restaurant.
- Red Mountain Farm decided to raise Mangalitsa in the best way in America's most sophisticated food market, and managed to sell their pigs for eye-popping prices.
- The Herbfarm, the Pacific Northwest's best restaurant, entered the Mangalitsa fattening business. Like Red Mountain Farm, their hogs eat acorns and other feed designed to produce the best raw material.
- Seattle customers lined up for fatty cuts like jowls and bellies, and primals likes whole sides, sold at prices from $19 to $25 per pound.
- New York chefs were blown away by dishes like deep-fried Mangalitsa fatback and whipped Mangalitsa lard.
The fact that newcomers like Wooly Pigs and Red Mountain Farm could appear from nowhere and each sell their Mangalitsa to the best restaurant in America - as their first sales - shows the huge potential in Mangalitsa and our Austrian methods. By doing what it takes to produce the best-tasting product, one can easily beat those focused on different things.
Given what the food press and bloggers have written about Mangalitsa (and what's in the pipeline), we know that foodies are steadily hearing about it.
Somewhat unexpectedly, there are signs that Mangalitsa is entering the general American consciousness. E.g. in an upcoming episode of "Eleventh Hour", Mangalitsa will play a key role in the plot: Mangalitsa will be described as a super-rare breed of pig that produces the best meat.
I'm surprised that the writers for the show even know what Mangalitsa is. Nobody has sold Mangalitsa down there. Yet somehow they are getting the message.
2009 is going to be a very interesting year:
- Mangalitsa production should be 20x what it was last year.
- Red Mountain Farm will continue selling pigs in the Bay Area.
- More farmers are buying Mangalitsa so they can fatten and sell them in their local area.
- Wooly Pigs will sell a lot of Mangalitsa in the New York Metro area.