The events held in New Jersey in January 2010 at Mosefund farm attracted a neat bunch of people, who went out to New Jersey for three days so that they could learn how to kill, cut up, cure and cook Mangalitsa pigs.
In early 2009, there was a small class in Woodinville on similar topics. One student from that class is now building a USDA-inspected plant in his house's basement. This is one instance of a general phenomenon - the people with the interest and ability to pay to learn how to kill and process the best-tasting pigs known to mankind are often able to do things that normal people can't.
If you read his blog, he's saying he'll start with sausage. Sure - that's how he'll start. Then he'll add more HACCP plans and more products. It is a big deal just to get up and running. It isn't so hard to add more products later.
That illustrates what I'm talking about - the guy is building a USDA-inspected plant in his basement, on a shoestring. If I didn't know that David was doing it, I might think it was impossible. That fact that David says he'll do it tells me that not only is it possible, but that he'll almost certainly get it done.
At the Mosefund class in January (held on the farm of a famous Wall Street investment banker), besides an artist (with work hanging at the NY Met), there was a doctor, several guys who run meat processing operations and many respected chefs.
I don't know much about the various classes that will take place later this year, but I do have some advice for people:
- If you just want to get a lot of practice cutting up pigs with seam butchery techniques, you can do that at the slaughterhouse Heath Putnam Farms uses (and had the Wiesners train). Obviously interested parties - like some of St. Louis's best chefs - have a big advantage over people living farther away.
- If you want to attend any Mangalitsa class, you need to send the organizers your money to reserve a spot. A lot of people say they'll attend. The ones who pay first are the ones who get what they want.