It may seem odd to use rare heritage breed pigs for pork, but these breeds simply will not survive
unless a market for these animals can be created. Already 6 of the 15 breeds of pigs raised in the United States
in the 1930s are extinct.
The other white meat"? That's not the way we think of pork, and after you taste Mulefoot pork,
you won't either. The flavor? According to Florence Fabricant of the New York Times, heritage pork is "darker, more
heavily marbled with fat, juicier and richer-tasting than most pork, and perfect for grilling."
"the meat is very tender, very tasty, just very good pork," . "It is the quantity and quality
of fat in heritage breeds of hogs that give the meat its superior flavor when compared to modern breeds that have been bred
to produce extremely lean meat." The meat is a rich Beefy color, unlike the anemic color of factory farmed pork.
Factory farms breed pigs to produce the greatest amount of meat for the lowest
cost, regardless of the need for genetic diversity or the quality of the meat. The resulting product is a standard size, color,
and flavor, however dull that may be.
Pork from heritage breeds is more moist and has a better flavor and texture than the pork
from conventional hybrids.When pasture-raised meat is good, it's unforgettable. Mulefoot pork is freckled with marbling
and is red like beef. The meat is dense but not tough and the fat melts slowly, so when you're braising, it takes hours for
it to soften, and as it cooks, the fat keeps bathing the meat, making it silky. You can also cook this pork simply--grilling
or roasting it, for instance. It melts in your mouth like butter. There's no need to infuse it with extra fat and flavor,
which is necessary with commercial pork."
It usually does cost a bit more to buy meat from heritage breeds, but there are good reasons for
the higher price tag: Heritage breeds take longer to reach market weight than conventional breeds, and because they also produce
a higher percentage of body fat, fewer of those pounds consist of marketable cuts.The high quality and great flavor of the
meat nevertheless creates steady demand from customers willing to pay the premium.
"At last, pork that doesn't taste as though it
has been on a low-fat diet!"
Their simply is no comparison... it tastes marvelous!
Bringing heritage foods to homes and tables is not an easy task but the effects are
far reaching. We hope to help sustain small independent family farms by increasing their revenues; to save our rare breed
of swine currently at risk of extinction by expanding their markets; to be a catalyst for supply of this rare breed heritage
pork and breeding stock; and to bring great tasting food to your door for special occasions.
Many are purchasing a Mulefoot boar and crossing with commercial sows to produce excellent flavor!
Heritage pork has such good flavor it is being offered in many restaurants accross the country.
Demand for this high quality pork far outweighs supply when marketed properly..
WHOLE HOG PROJECT VIDEOS:
A year and a half ago, Mike Sula of the Chicago Reader embarked on a project. The Whole Hog Project would follow three mulefoot pigs (Edna, Erma, and Endive) from birth (on a Wisconsin farm) to death
(at a slaughterhouse) to an afterlife (at Chicago's Blackbird restaurant). The hairy oinkers, known for having uncloven hooves like mules, would be spotlighted in a fancy six-course dinner.
"I've never seen my food walking around before," his friend and and videographer throughout the project, Mike Gebert of
Sky Full of Bacon, admitted. Why were they putting themselves through this? Mulefoot pigs are an endangered American breed that, two years
ago, only had 200 to their name. While eating an endangered animal seems like a bad idea, farmer Linda Derrickson debunked
this theory: “If you treat them like a zoo animal they’ll become zoo animals." To foster the animal's genetic
vitality, you actually should eat them.
In an era of blogging and meta-blogging—when old-fashioned reporting can fall by the wayside—it was touching
to stop and watch Sula's story unfold, in both words and Gebert's videos. Watch both parts of the Whole Hog Project, after the jump.
NOTE: This contains some graphic footage of cutting up the hog for cooking
as well as slaughterhouse video. If this is offensive to you, do not push play or watch the videos. This is provided for our
members that market the heritage meat of the Mulefoots.
You hear the phrase "farm to table" a lot in food circles. The next Sky Full of Bacon will show you what it
really means. Watch the trailer and check back on November 13 to see the full video and read the complete story in the Chicago
Reader. Music by Kevin MacLeod. (1:26)
Mike Sula of the Chicago Reader has been writing about the rare mulefoot pig for the last year and
a half. (See here: chicagoreader.com/wholehogproject) Now the Reader has enlisted award-winning chef Paul Kahan, of Chicago's
Blackbird, to plan an elaborate six-course dinner showcasing the meat of these pigs and the sustainable, humane way in which
they're raised. (Warning: although we were not allowed to film the kill itself, the video does contain frank footage of everything
else that goes on in a slaughterhouse.) More info at skyfullofbacon.com/blog (19:56)
Update 3/23/09: The two There Will Be Pork videos have just been nominated for James Beard Foundation Awards, in the multimedia
category along with the "Whole Hog Project" Chicago Reader stories they accompanied.
Visit the Slow Food Foundations website above,
an informative website!
Would you like to try Mulefoot Pork?
Contact any of our breeders as many have cuts available
from purebred Mulefoot stock.
Many breeders will accept pre-orders.
Contact them via their website or post a wanted ad on this website.
Many purchase breeding stock to crossbreed and produce rich flavorful meat.
Visit our breeders area for a breeder located near you!
The American Mulefoot Hog Association and Registry
* 18995 V Drive * Tekonsha Michigan * US * 49092 *