Heritage Hogs at Central Coast Mangalitsas
In another effort to fill a niche here on the central coast, Vicarious Ranch has added the rare Mangalitsa breed of Hungarian lard pigs to the mix and a new business, Central Coast Mangalitsas.
"The Mangalitsa is a Hungarian breed of domestic pig. It was developed in the mid-nineteenth century by cross breeding Hungarian breeds from Szalonta and Bakony with the Serbian Šumadija breed. The Mangalitsa pig grows a thick wooly coat similar to that of a sheep. The only other pig breed noted for having a long coat is the extinct Lincolnshire Curly Coat of England.
The pig was originally bred for their lard in the 1830s by Austrian Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire the breed slowly disappeared, reaching a low point under Hungarian communism, where government policy combined with changing dietary habits brought it to near-extinction. The breed was revived in the early 1990s by a series of breeders, including the Hungarian Peter Toth. More recently, the pigs have been imported to the United States." - wikipedia
After much research, Mike and Christy aquired two gilts and a boar for breeding stock. Their first litter of woolly piglets were born in June, 2015 and now the ranch has a rotation of approximately 30 market pigs growing at any given time. Mangalitsas are a slow-growth hog and take twice as long to grow to market weight as a typical commercial hog. This results is a deep red meat with marbelling throughout and a flavor like no other pork. Our pigs are raised on pasture and a special no-corn-no-soy-no-gmo feed. These special hogs are currently marketed toward restaurants and gourmets on the central coast and sold in shares before going to an approved USDA facility for processing. We twice annually produce approximately 16-20 market hogs per breeding.
Whole hog purchases can be picked out and picked up at the ranch priced on live weight at the time of pickup. Whole, half and primal purchases can also be delivered to a USDA facility in Fresno for slaughter and picked up there. Cut purchases are handled by a local USDA butcher and can be picked up at the ranch frozen and packaged. No slaughtering or butchering is done at the ranch.
Our current price sheet
Here is a recent article in Modern Farmer about Mangalitsa pigs, known as the Kobe Beef of pork.