Monday, November 14, 2011

Herb Eckhouse Sent me a Cured Mangalitsa Shoulder

Herb Eckhouse, founder of La Quercia, sent me a cured Mangalitsa shoulder (cut paleta-style).

He tried curing one as an experiment.*

I wasn't expecting it, so I opened it in the store to take a look. The UPS Store employee marveled at the "piggy's foot."

It arrived in two pieces.

The golden paste covering the exposed meat it is Herb's version of sugna. He makes his with cornmeal.

The cured shoulder tastes great. The fat tastes like awesome Mangalitsa lardo. A lot of people would probably slice the shoulder and put it on flatbread (pizza). I'll probably eat most of it in slices, without any accompanying carbs.

* Herb only cured one shoulder, and it isn't for sale. If you want to buy cured shoulders from our pigs, Johnston County Hams sells them.


John K. said...

Looks and sounds fantastic Heath. Love the color!

Do you know how he cured it, or for how long?

Heath said...

I think he cured (salted) it for a few weeks. I'm going to guess it dried out for 9 months or so.

Herb's an accessible guy, and very nice. You might try writing him an email, or calling.

Among other things, if you call him, you could ask him if he's got any really special stuff. I think he might have another Mangalitsa shoulder or ham, for instance.

vib.h.u said...

Hi Heath, I was curious about where the name "Mangalica"/Mangalitsa itself comes from. Any idea into its roots?

Heath said...


I think it comes from Serbian or Romanian, as described here. I suggest you use google translate (text is in Serbian):

How is it that you care about these pigs? Have you eaten them? You live in India, don't you?

vib.h.u said...

Thanks for the link, Heath.
My interest in mangalicas has odd roots - "Mangalik" is a word in India, used for people born on an inauspicious day (as decided by astrology). These people are avoided during matrimony, as they are said to bring bad luck.

As pigs (and pig meat) is mostly avoided in India, I had been eager to know if there was some connection between the two.
That Serbian article says that Mangalica translates to "pig with lot of fat"... so my theory would remain just that - a theory.

We get frozen bacon and chops here, but they don't carry any clue of the kind of pigs used. I'm sure its not mangalitsa (now I long for it). Probably Large White Yorkshire or some indigenous breed. (