I was happy to see my customer, Bakers Green Acres, getting mentioned in Crain's Detroit Business.
The article is about Brian Polcyn, chef, instructor and restaurant owner. He's famous for writing a book (with co-author Michael Ruhlman) called, "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing".
In the article, he's quoted as saying:
Breed-specific pigs are critical. I use two types of pigs: Managalitsas for cured meats and Berkshire pigs for cooking. I get the Mangalitsas from Bakers Green Acres. Mangalitsas are a must for certain types of charcuterie. A necessity. Michigan is one of only a few states that breed that type of pig, which is critical for curing meat.
I'm really happy that an American charcuterie authority, Michael Polcyn, thinks our pigs are essential.
These are "our pigs" in these sense that, as I've previously mentioned, all Mangalitsa pigs that have gone to slaughter in the USA in the last few years were bred by Heath Putnam Farms.
Brian Polcyn isn't the only guy who thinks our pigs are the best. Here's a satisfied Mangalitsa customer who has worked with a lot of different meat, the author of The Sausage Debauchery blog:
It's terrific. I think God put these piggies on earth specifically to cure, I can't imagine they serve a better purpose than this. As I wrote prior regarding the coppa and how it melts in your mouth, the Lardo is even more unctuous, if that's possible. I sliced some paper thin to put on bruschetta. I toasted the bread and while it was still warm added the lardo. It was drizzled with top notch olive oil and cracked pepper. By the time I got to it, the lardo had begun to melt into the bread..............sick.If that inspires you to want to order some Mangalitsa lardo from our pigs, clicking this link will get you stuff made by Salumeria Biellese from our pork.
Brian Polcyn mentions that some farms in Michigan breed Mangalitsa pigs. To my knowledge, the farms in Michigan that breed Mangalitsa pigs produce Blonde Mangalitsa pigs. In contrast, our pigs are Swallow-Belly Mangalitsa.
There are three different Mangalitsa breeds, the Red Mangalitsa, Blond Mangalitsa and Swallow-Belly Mangalitsa. They really are different pig breeds (like Golden Retrievers vs Labrador Retrievers). See "Do Mangalica pigs of different colours really belong to different breeds?" by Zsolnai for more info.
We've sold Swallow-Belly breeding stock to several farms. Here's a map showing the locations of farms that have bought Swallow-Belly Mangalitsa breeding stock from Heath Putnam Farms:
In 2007, when I imported Mangalitsa pigs to the USA, I had to decide what pigs to get. I chose Swallow-Belly Mangalitsa pigs because I was able to get the most genetically diverse herd.