Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's Time to Cue "Dueling Banjos"

I just saw something about Mangalitsa hams from D'Artagnan. Theirs are boneless.

Meanwhile, DeBragga and Spitler sells something similar, made from our pigs by Johnston County Hams. So far, they are bone-in, like the ham pictured at top. They've also got cured shoulders.

I just got off the phone with Rufus, at Johnston County Hams. They are deboning some hams for DeBragga.

Cured Mangalitsa shoulder (by Johnston County Hams)
looks a bit like a banjo. Already mostly deboned.

We've got two marquee NYC distributors, each selling boneless Mangalitsa hams. The people running the two companies famously built a company together, stopped working together, and now they compete in the field of Mangalitsa hams.

Its time to cue "Dueling Banjos". Here's a Youtube clip from the movie "Deliverance", if you don't know what this refers to:

Wooly Pigs has total banjo supremacy.

Of course, if it ever comes down to "Dueling Banjos", we have, in the sense of air supremacy, total banjo supremacy.

Our pigs are raised in the rural parts of the USA, killed and cut at Swiss, Missouri (substantial shotguns and pickups demographic), moved to North Carolina by Witte Bros Transportation (all employess must have "Field & Stream" subscription or NRA membership) and cured in North Carolina (by a guy whose pre-teen kid has killed a dozen wild boar).

The trend continues even further, into our distributors, who sell the stuff to foodies and chefs:

Burt Reynolds in Deliverance.

While visiting Jerad, COO of Foods in Season, I saw a compound bow at his desk. It turns out that one of our major distributors is a bow hunter. Jerad has decades of bow-hunting experience, and he's been bow hunting since he was 11.

Bow hunting takes skill and patience. There's overlap with the shotguns and pickups demographic, of course, but a bow hunter is special, in the way that a Mangalitsa pig is an extreme sort of pig.

That got me thinking - George Faison, co-owner of DeBragga, is also a hunter.

It all reminds me of the "cold-chain" concept: our product passes from person to person and company to company before reaching its consumers:
An unbroken cold chain is an uninterrupted series of storage and distribution activities which maintain a given temperature range. It is used to help extend and ensure the shelf life of products such as fresh agricultural produce, frozen food, photographic film, chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs.

... A cold chain can be managed by a quality management system. It should be analyzed, measured, controlled, documented, and validated. The food industry uses the process of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, HACCP, as a useful tool.
We have an unbroken banjo chain. If we had to validate it, we could. I don't understand the implications or importance (if any) of this; but as of today, this is the structure of the western hemisphere's tiny Mangalitsa industry.

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