I saw another gift guide today - the gift guide of Ruth Reichl, former New York Times restaurant reviewer and Gourmet magazine editor. I was quite pleased to note her first entry in the gift guide (one per day until Dec 25th):
I'm starting with Mangalitsa pork, because I cooked some the other day, and I was truly startled by the sheer deliciousness of these beautiful wooly pigs.
I love baking with Mangalitsa lard, which is pure white, soft and has a fine sweet flavor that is not quite like anything I’ve tasted before. When you're making pie dough it rolls out like a dream, and bakes up into a wonderfully flaky crust that lacks the mean piggy flavor of so much lard.
But the last time I ordered the lard from De Bragga and Spitler (debragga.com), I decided to order some meat as well. Let me just say that it is, hands down, the most delicious pork I have ever tasted. It is so sweet, succulent and seductively flavorful that the only seasoning it needs is some salt and pepper (and maybe a few cloves of garlic). Trust me: if you send this to a friend, he will love you forever.