Mangalitsa neck. Photo by Anamaris.
I saw two interesting blog posts in the last few days - two reviewers describing Mangalitsa pork.
First, there's Anamaris, who won a neck (aka "coppa") and prepared it two ways. She's got some great photos of her food!
Then there's a reviewer who bought a bunch of pork, including some from a Mangalitsa producer, and compared them all. He's also got some nice photos. You can really see how different the loin chops can look. It is amazing how much variation there is in meat quality.
The meat the second reviewer got from Mosefund is really fantastic. It is ridiculously marbled - just look at the photo. That's about as good as it can get.
Of course both reviewers think the Mangalitsa is incredible, and much better than regular pork.
As the second reviewer writes:
The Mangalitsa is the clear winner here, however it’s expensive and hard to find. I’ll probably buy it once in awhile as an indulgence, but the Berkshire chops are gonna remain as my go-to choice when it comes to putting a pork chop on my plate.
I'm happy the reviewer wrote it that way. A lot of reviewers, realizing they can't afford the best, will try to find flaws with it so that they can feel better about buying what they can afford. This reviewer doesn't do that.
Realistically, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the really great stuff is expensive. That's just how the universe works: people who have money and care about quality bid up the price of the really great stuff.
Here's Anamaris on the quality of the Mangalitsa:
Let me just try to explain something about Mangalitsa pork. It is obnoxiously delicious! I mean, I just know those little pigs trot around the pen mocking the other pigs and telling them how much better tasting they are. And you know what? THEY ARE!!! The Hubbz said this was better than beef tenderloin, yep. THAT good. The fat in the Mangalitsa is almost creamy buttery. And the meat has a slight gamey sweetness to it. I don’t know what to say or think about it, all I know is this is some really good sh#t!As a Mangalitsa producer, when different people come up to you again and again and say, "that was the best piece of meat I ever ate," you need to train yourself to empathize with them and say, in a serious way, that you are happy they enjoyed it so much. You need to act like their experience was important and meaningful for you too - even if you've heard the same thing so many times from other people.
I can remember being in Austria with Christoph Wiesner, expressing how good I thought something made from Mangalitsa tasted, and he acted so blasé about it I figured he had to have misunderstood me. Because clearly, if he understood me, and how great I thought something was, he'd have more emotions about it. Reality is, after you've heard a thousand times that your stuff incredible, you get used to hearing it, and have trouble empathizing.