Sunday, November 28, 2010

Heath Putnam Farms Gift Guide

Here's my gift guide for 2010: buy someone you love a Mangalitsa ham, or a sampler.

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 (, 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.

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