Meet the Mangas
We raise our mangalitsa pigs on pasture, fresh air, and sunshine. The way pigs were meant to be raised! They enjoy exhibiting their natural behaviors, like rooting with their noses in the soft dirt for roots and grubs and lolling in a cool mud wallow or lounging under a tree during the heat of summer. Their pasture diet is supplemented with vegetables from our organic kitchen garden, skim milk and whey from our dairy goats, coastal hay in the winter, and when necessary, organic and non-gmo whole grains and legumes such as peanuts, milo, sunflower, and oats.
Mangalitsas are an Old World breed that comes from Hungary. The name Mangalitsa means "pig with a lot of lard." Mangalitsa hogs were originally raised for their silky, white lard at a time when lard was the cooking fat of choice, not to mention the many other uses of lard from candles to soap to lubricants for machinery. Fast forward a couple hundred years to the 1990's and the mangalitsa pig was very nearly extinct and vegetable oil has become the household staple. At one time only 198 of these beautiful pigs remained.
Luckily for the Mangalitsa, natural lard has been experiencing a bit of a renaissance with chefs and home cooks alike as consumers begin to question the studies that have supported products like vegetable oil and disparaged traditional foods like lard. We now know that lard has one-fourth the saturated fat as butter, is low in omega-6 fatty acids, which most western diets contain WAY too much of, and lard from pastured pigs contains high amounts of much needed omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Mangalitsas that are not over fattened also develop beautiful, dark red marbled meat that looks much more like beef than pork! Mangalitsa pork is so delicious and distinct it has been called the "Kobe beef of pork," and has been recognized internationally by Slow Food in their Ark of Taste. Slow Food is "a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us."
What makes Mangalitsa pork special?
* Mangalitsa pigs are slow growing, reaching market weight no earlier than 15 months as opposed to commercial breeds which are processed at 6 months. The extra time and care that goes into raising them is well worth it, as this longer growth time results in pork that is exceptionally rich in flavor, has a beautiful texture and is heavily marbled with delicious fat!
* The fat! Mangalitsa lard is like no other! It has integrity while cooking, instead of melting completely away, but is very tender, sliceable, and edible. The texture is amazing. Don't trim the fat!
* The fat is healthy! Mangalitsa lard is very high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
* If you're wanting to try your hand at your own homemade charcuterie, this pig is world-renowned!
We welcome wholesale inquiries from chefs and restaurants.