Introduction to the Mangalitza Pig
A Mangalitza is a Hungarian breed of domestic pig. Apparently, it was bred as a present for the Archduke of Hungary in the mid19th century and is a cross between the Szalonta, Bakony and Sumadija – no we hadn’t heard of them either – and the Wild Boar.
In those days they liked very fatty pigs, lard was eaten by the ton, and the Mangalitza was a big animal with plenty of fat cover. Nowadays it has proved ideal for Charcuterie making.
Why is the Mangalitza so special?
Beal’s Farm – winner of Best Product – British Charcuterie Live Awards 2018 rear their own herd. What Phil Beal says is that the flavour of the meat is incomparable. They may take longer to develop than a modern hybrid pig but it is worth it for the deeper, richer taste with a hint of wild boar gaminess and its creamy texture. And, of course, there is the fat – essential when you are curing or smoking meat.
Mangalitzas also have the advantage of being rich in mono-unsaturated fats and omega oils.
It looks like a cross between a pig and a sheep with its woolly coat and there are three different varieties – Blonde, Swallow Bellied and Red – recognisable by their colour. And, if you’re asking, we’ve been assured that the Mangalitza is no relation to the Lincolnshire Curly Coat, in spite of what some may say.
So how important is breed when it comes to the flavour of the meat? Essential, says Phil, but what is also needed is consistency just one of the many reasons he breeds his own herd.