Our Mangalitsa pigs at Sky Blue Farm
Updated: Oct 4, 2019
Everything you need to know about Mangalitsas
Nestled in the heart of Montezuma County in Colorful Colorado, our farm has been offering the community quality, organic meats at an affordable price since 2014. We raise our animals on a 100-acre farm giving them plenty of room to roam and feed them all natural, non-GMO food with absolutely no medicines or added hormones. Ever.
Our family specializes in Mangalitsa pork and if you’ve never heard of it, you’re missing out. The pork is known for its dark color and rich flavor. The low-heat melting fat also makes for the best bacon you’ve ever had. Still, we don’t stop there. Our farm also raises lamb and heritage pork.
Our Mangalitsa pork is from pigs raised free range on pastures year-round with access to feed, fresh water and run-in shelters. They graze on chicory, clover and varieties of local nuts and are finished on a barley feed mix for a minimum of 60 days.
Mangalitsa Pork: Buttery, Rich, Moist
Mangalitsa pigs (aka mangalica pigs) are a “lard-type” heritage breed. Because of their unique wooly appearance, they are sometimes also referred to as “wooly pigs".
While almost all other pig breeds raised in America are “meat-type” breeds that have been bred since World War 2 to be leaner and leaner with each generation (their meat progressively getting dryer and less flavorful), Mangalitsas have remained essentially the same since the breed with first developed in Hungary in 1833. They require nearly twice as much time, pasture and feed as conventional pork, which contributes to their price and is why they’re so rarely raised on American farms.
The extra time, space and expense is worth it - Mangalitsa pork is extremely well marbled (often with more than double the marbling of conventional pork), with smooth fat that is both buttery and cleaner tasting. Mangalitsa’s flavor is far superior to mainstream pork and it is also much less likely to dry out.
The Mangalitsa breed, when raised free range with quality feed as these pigs have been, produces fat that is primarily monounsaturated and higher in oleic acid. This means it melts at lower temperatures for a rich, moist result in cooking, and also cures far better than conventional pork. Consumption of monounsaturated fats may also be associated with a decrease in certain types of cholesterol.
Mangalitsa is a breed of pig grown especially in Hungary and the Balkans known also as a curly-hair hog. It belongs to European unimproved lard-type breeds (as well as Iberian Black, Sicilian Black, and Alentejana pigs) that are descended directly from wild boar populations.
Serbian language reformer Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, gave the breed its name Mangalica, which describes it as a ‘hog with a lot of lard’.
The breed was developed from older hardy types of Hungarian pig (Bakonyi and Szalontai) crossed with the Šumadija breed of Serbian origin (1833) (and later others like Alföldi or Croatian Šiška and Syrmien). The development took place in Hungary in the early 19th century. The new quickly-growing “fat-type” hog did not require any special care, so it became very popular in Hungary. For the improvement of the breed The National Society of Fat-Type Hog Breeders (Mangalicatenyésztők Országos Egyesülete) was established in 1927. Mangalitsa was the most prominent swine breed in the region until 1950 (the number of the hogs in Hungary in 1943 was 30 thousand). Since the 1950s the popularity as well as population of Mangalitsa have been decreasing within the context of greater food dissemination and inventions such as the refrigerator. In the present time, hobby keeping of Mangalica has become popular. The current number of Mangalitsa hogs in Hungary is slightly over 4500, property most of them of Monte Nevado.
In August 2007, Wooly Pigs, an American company, imported a herd of 24 Swallow bellied Mangalitsas from Austria. In 2010 Marc Santucci and Wilhelm Kohl imported 6 Blonde Mangalitsas from Austria.
The Mangalitsa pig breed (also spelled Maнгулица (Serbian cyrillic), Mangulica, Mangalica or Mangaliza, in Hungarian Mangalica, in Romanian Mangaliţa, in German Mangalitza or Wollschwein) is distinguished by its rich and curly coat, which can be blond, black (with swallow bellied variation), and rarely red. Blond (szõke) Mangalitsa is the most common and popular. The skeleton is fine but very strong. The skin under the fur is greyish-black; the visible parts are black as well as teats and hooves. The number of teats on the female is 10–12. On the lower edge of the ear one can find a bright spot (an inch in diameter), the so-called “Wellmann fleck”. The breed is admirably hardy and adaptable to mountain feeding and low temperatures. It is also extremely disease and stress resistant.
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