Mangalitsa is considered to have one of the best flavor profiles of any breed of pig. Chefs love the taste and the versatility of the meat and its melt-in-your-mouth luxurious lard. The meat is exceptionally juicy, tender, and well-marbled.
Our Mangalitsa is all natural and raised without hormones or antibiotics. They roam wooded pastures, foraging and taking naps in the sunlight. We feed them a locally sourced barley-based diet free of corn & soy. Why? First of all, corn and soy is pretty much all GMO and we like to stay away from that for our own health concerns. Secondly, corn and soymeal produce an undesirable “soft” fat. We aim for a nice hard white fat.
Why does barley make a firmer pork than corn? It has to do with the linoleum acid content of the grain. Barley has less than half the linoleum acid content of corn (and peas have 40% less than barley). Barley and field peas are the top two ingredients in our ration. Pigs are not ruminants like cows. Ruminants use their rumen to turn vegetable oil into more stable monounsaturated or unsaturated fats. Pigs are, however, largely what they eat. If you feed them vegetable oil their fat will be composed of vegetable oil. It’s that simple!
If you have been turned off by pork fat, it is because pork fat composed of vegetable oil (keep in mind, all commercially produced pork in the United States is fed primarily corn and soybean meal) is greasy, smeary, and cooks out when the meat is heated. On the other hand, our customers tell us that they are eating the fat on their pork chops without slicing it off, and they cannot believe the way it just melts in their mouth. Try it and see for yourself!
Mangalitsa is special because it has high levels of natural antioxidants and Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids that our bodies need. The high levels of monounsaturated fat (compared to saturated fat) have been proven to be a great way to decrease LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol. In a nutshell, this fat is responsible for lowering LDL (“bad”) while increasing the HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. Independent scientific research by the College of Agriculture of Auburn University found Mangalitsa meat is considerably higher in monounsaturated fatty acids and lower in undesirable saturated fats.
In addition to the unique health benefits and flavor profile of this pig, we find the Mangalitsa almost perfect for our needs in North Dakota. The wooly coat means we can effectively raise these pigs year-round without an elaborate heated hog barn. They are naturally good mothers and hardy pigs that maintain themselves well without excessive inputs.
Breeding is a complicated subject, as the gene pool in the US is quite small and inbreeding is common and leads to genetic issues along with slower growth. We have invested in recent imports of the Hungarian red variety. We cross our red boar with blonde and swallow belly sows for better vigor and meat production. We do produce purebred reds along with purebred swallowbellys & blondes to offer select unrelated pairs.