Saturday, July 17, 2010

Italians Recognize the Superiority of Mangalitsa

Mangalitsa ham - made in Italy.

There's a small producer of hams in Italy using Mangalitsa hams. You can see it here (and read the Google translation here).

Although Italy makes a lot of hams, their typical pigs are quite lean, so they don't make as good cured products as Mangalitsas.*

Just as the Italians use Mangalitsa to make really special hams, Johnston County Hams is using our Mangalitsa pork to make the best made-in-USA hams for sale to the public.** They aren't using domestic American breeds to make their best.

Their first batch of hams is just about ready. Contact them directly to pre-order your Mangalitsa hams. As of today, you'll probably have to email or call and ask for the hams, because they aren't on the website yet.

Why do I mention this? Why does it matter what some obscure Italian "artisan" does?

I mention this because in the USA, Italians have a reputation for making cured products better than American ones. If an Italian artisan chooses to use Mangalitsa pigs to make products that are superior, what does that tell you?

I figure, either the guy is a crazy kook (and nobody will buy his overpriced hams for very long) or, more realistically, Mangalitsas make better cured products. When fussy Italians want to eat something great, like fussy pigs, they ignore the hams made from their own Italian pigs and go straight for the Mangalitsa.

* Most American pigs are lean like the Italian pigs, but producers typically cut corners on feed, resulting in pork unsuitable for making cured products. Of course, Wooly Pigs does things right.

** Restaurants like The French Laundry and The Herbfarm make Mangalitsa ham, but they won't sell you that ham.

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