Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hungarians Outraged by British "News"

The error-ridden story of the pigs in Essex has reached Serbia, Hungary and Spain.

Šumadija in modern Serbia (formerly part of Old Hungary) is where the Hungarian archduke József created Mangalitsa (aka mangalica, Mangulica, Mangulac, Mangalitza) pigs.

Although bred by Hungarians, many Serbs are proud that their pigs taste the best and look the neatest. Those people will typically tell you that the breed is Serbian.

Given that the Mangalitsa is part of their culture, I was a bit surprised to see the British story reported as if accurate on a Serb website. A few Serbs pointed out that the pigs in question were just their "Mangulica" pigs.

Then there were the Spanish stories. It is unfortunate to see the information presented as fact in Spain, given the role of Spain (and specific Spaniards like Juan Vicente Olmos) in saving the Mangalitsa breeds.

The story finally seems to have crossed into Hungarian media, creating outrage and charges of theft. Here's a translated Hungarian article. I think it took a while for the tales of the theft of their national treasures to reach Hungary, due to the language barrier.

Of course, the breeds are not in danger of extinction - because companies like Wooly Pigs, Johnston County Hams, Knight Salumi, Foods in Season, DeBragga and Spitler and are selling pigs, pork and products made from pigs with Mangalitsa genetics.[1]

Swiss Meat and Sausage Company - by slaughtering and processing our pigs in a way that maximizes their value - helps to preserve the Mangalitsa breeds. If we didn't have a way to make money off the pigs, we'd go out of business.

If Mangalitsa pigs ever become pets and curiousities (as they are in Britain) - and not a food source - as they are in Continental Europe and the USA - the breeds as they exist now will vanish.

[1] In Europe, much larger companies like Olmos es Toth raise many more Mangalitsa pigs and export their pork and products around the world.

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