Mangalitsa or Mangalica (pronounced man-gal-eets-a) is a breed of pork that is gaining both recognition and appreciation. Once a highly prize Hungarian hog, these pigs were almost wiped out before local initiatives restored their population. Since then, the meat and the lard have become popular again thanks to discerning buyers, butchers, chefs, food writers, gourmands and fans of modern cooking trends– further boosting the distribution of Mangalitsa pigs and their products in Europe and abroad. If you are curious, keep reading for more from the Mangalitsa experts here at D’Arcy’s Meat Market!
CHEW THE FAT
In cuisine, it’s simple: fat means flavour. This rule of thumb was unpopular in recent years as consumers began buying leaner and leaner meat products. When fat is reduced or removed, there is often not enough left to render a juicy, flavourful piece of meat. As modern diets embrace smaller portions of fattier, well-marbled meats such as Angus, Wagyu or Kobe beef– Mangalitsa pork has also increased in popularity. Mangalitsa pigs grow slower than more popular breeds, developing meat with a generous, even distribution of fat. When cooked, this fat melts into the surrounding meat for unparalleled flavour and succulence.
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Originally bred for lard, the unique-looking, wooly Mangalitsa pigs fell out of favour when consumers and industries shifted away from saturated animal fats. Since the breed grows slower and requires more land to forage naturally, farmers also opted to raise other breeds of pig for meat. These factors resulted in neglect and habitat loss– Mangalitsa numbers dwindled to less than 200 in the world by the 1990s. Alarmed scientists in Hungary acted quickly and succeeded in not only returning the population to the tens of thousands in Europe, but across many other countries as well.
TRADITIONAL TO LOCAL
Since their brush with extinction, Mangalitsa pork once again enjoys a place of prominence and thriving numbers around the world. These days, traditional Hungarian sausage made with Mangalitsa meat and paprika is served far and wide. Likewise, trendy, local and slow food restaurants have jumped at the opportunity to serve the delicacy– taking everyday pork entrees to a whole new realm of mouth-watering flavour and tenderness. Be ahead of the curve and elevate your own dishes with Mangalitsa pork or lard, from family favourites to your next dinner party showstopper.
As you can see, Mangalitsa pork is a special breed that stands out from the crowd thanks to its wooly exterior and its unparalleled taste. Contact or visit D’Arcy’s today, we are standing by to answer any questions you may have about our Mangalitsa products and our suppliers.