I'm incredibly grateful that Johnston County Hams chose to produce Mangalitsa hams (and shoulders). Nobody else was willing to sink a fortune into producing a novel ultra-premium luxury food.
The story reminds me a bit of Germain-Robin; they made great brandies, equal to those of Europe. Unfortunately, Americans didn't really want that stuff. Unsurprisingly, I love Germain-Robin. Here's a section from an article about it:
Germain-Robin spends no money on advertising. Unlike Hennessy or Courvoisier, hip-hop artists don't give it "shout outs" in their songs. Moreover, being in Ukiah leaves Germain-Robin far off the trail of Wine Country tasting.
But in the glass, Germain-Robin brandies sing and dance. I tasted a range of the company's products along with some Hennessy XO Cognac, a well-regarded French product that costs $120. (See story page F6). The Hennessy XO smelled simple and uninteresting, and tasted rough and unbalanced in comparison.
It's not surprising that Germain-Robin tastes better than similarly priced French Cognacs when you learn how the two products are made. Both reflect the culture of their homelands.