We love our Mangalitsa pigs. Much as Charlotte loved Wilbur, but for different reasons.
We’ve raised a lot of different breeds over the years. We got pigs about 2 years after we got married, and we’ve been married for 26 years, so that’s a lot of pigs over a lot of years.
We’ve raised them in barns, in stalls, on free-for-all fields, and on cultivated pastures.
Why is the Mangalitsa some pig, wonderful, and radiant? Let me, the homestead wife, tell you why.
- I don’t have to help chase them. The pigs are content to stay put as long as they have food and water. Shelter is even negotiable. A pile of straw makes them pleased as can be. They don’t show up in my garden (unlike the cows).
- They eat our leftovers. I don’t like throwing organic stuff in the trash can, and the pigs love to eat it! Not only that, but they exercise their superpower with our food leftovers as fuel.
- They turn anything we feed them into pork. This is a Mangalitsa’s superpower. They even eat quackgrass roots and turn those tough things into premium pork.
- Their pork isn’t just good. It’s GREAT! Really. I want dark meat for my family because that indicates lots of minerals stored in the meat, which equates to greater nutrient density. Simply put, the dark red, almost beef looking, meat from the Mangalitsa is healthier for my family. And, it tastes better. Eating is believing, but eating wonderful meat makes you radiant. Great taste. More nutrition per bite. As the caretaker of the kitchen for my family, that’s a win-win.
- And the fat. Fat is so many things for the homestead family. Through the fall, winter, and early spring fat is the storehouse of all the fat soluble vitamins for my family, plus it’s grounding and moisturizing in the cold and dry of the seasons. We use lard (for “free”) in place of butter (costs $$) in almost everything in the kitchen, from cookies to pie crust to fried chicken to roast veggies. We use it as rendered lard, which everyone is familiar with, and as lardo (gosh, you gotta learn this product! We’ll cover it at the Homestead Hog Harvest and Charcuterie classes.). The fat is the most awesome part of the pig (right behind the meat).
But don’t take my word for it. Mark and the guys were working with the pigs while Joe was out and had this to say (check it out on YouTube):
So, we love this terrific, wonderful, radiant pig for lots of reasons. Come check it out at one of our farm events! Or better yet, join us for a class and experience the magnificence of the Mangalitsa for yourself.
You can check out our whole video series of “How to raise Pastured Mangalitsa Pigs” here (from the Baker’s Green Acres channel, so not as polished but still info rich)!