It only takes one bite to fall in love with Mangalitsa pork!
Mangalitsa (pronounced mahn-ga-leetz-ah) is a rare and rustic lard-type swine breed developed in several countries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1833 onward.
They are noted for their gourmet red meat that’s perfect for charcuterie (dried cured meats), juicy even after cooking, and more tender than the commercially raised pork most people are familiar with. Mangalitsa pork is not the “other white meat”… not by a long shot! They also produce a large amount of luscious, melt-in-your-mouth fat with a uniquely healthful nutrient profile. Yes, fat can be nutritious, too!
We chose the Mangalitsa (also spelled Mangalitca and Mangalitza) breed for their even temperament, mothering skills, ability to produce outstanding pork and lard on forage and foods that might otherwise go to waste, all while tilling and improving the soil (a valuable trait since we don’t ever use herbicides on our ranch!), and the cold hardiness essential in our winter climate. And did we mention the incredible pork?
The Juicy Details
Mangalitsa meat is deep red with a nutty flavor, more like beef than pork. The meat contains more minerals and vitamins (like iron) because the pigs are kept outside and harvested at an older age. The pork also has a greater water-holding capacity than other breeds, and the fat is woven into the meat whether visible or not, so the meat stays juicy and tender even after cooking (even if slightly overcooked!)
Devin Knell, executive sous-chef at the French Laundry restaurant, was quoted in a 2008 article in the New York Times talking about the amazing Mangalitsa fat: “Unlike workaday pork,” Mr. Knell said, “Mangalitsa is marbled, and the fat dissolves on your tongue — it’s softer and creamier, akin to Wagyu beef.”
Mangalitsa fat melts below human body temperature (89.6F/32C). It melts in your mouth instantly! But your palette recognizes it as moisture, not oil. It is rich in Omega-3 and 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and natural antioxidants. The large amount of unsaturated fatty acids (healthy fat) allows it to melt at lower temperatures than most other pigs. We all know those fats are much healthier for us!
According to studies by the University of Debrecen in Hungary, the levels of Omega-3 in Mangalitsa pork are 2 to 3 times higher than in many varieties of fish! Mangalitsa fat content is 12-16% less saturated fatty acids and 8-10% more unsaturated fatty acids than modern pig breeds.
It’s been said that just one Mangalitsa pig can provide a family with all of their cooking oil needs for one year. That incredible lard is wonderful to use in cooking and baking! Or try your hand at confit, a traditional French method of preserving cooked meat without canning or freezing.
To produce the highest quality Mangalitsa Heritage Pork with exceptional flavor for crafting your culinary experiences, with health benefits for our family and customers, in a way that improves our land. Because we believe every bite should be a special pleasure for the palate!