Is it a sheep or is it a pig? It's a wooly pig! The history of the Mangalitsa is as rich as their meat.
First bred for an Archduke in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 1830's, the Mangalitsa was designed to produce pure white fat and beautifully marbled meat. During the 1970's, when vegetable oil was replacing lard in kitchens the Mangalitsa fell out of favor and almost went extinct, with only about 200 Mangas left in the 1990s. What a lot of folks didn't realize is that the lard from Mangalitsa has less saturated fat and more unsaturated fat than an equal amount of butter, and contains no trans fat, unlike margarine, vegetable shortenings and hydrogenated fats. Lard has been seeing a comeback in recent years, as chefs and home cooks covet the unique qualities and flavor of lard. Foodies and farmers are rehabilitating the reputation of lard, and science is even re-examining the studies on lard. The lard from Doss Farm pastured pigs is rich in Vitamin D and Omega 3s. Pastured lard is the second best source of Vitamin D next to Cod Liver oil!
Most American pigs have had their genes tweaked over the years to produce a lean, fleshy colored meat. Mangalitsa pork is a rich red in color, similar to beef. The pigs on Doss Farm are 100% pure Mangalitsas. In 2014, two pairs of pigs were flown to Oregon from Napa Valley and are decendents from the original Austrian breeding stock. Slow Food, an international organization that preserves traditional foods, endangered animal breeds, and stands against the industrialization of food has listed the Mangalitsa pig in its Ark of Taste, recognizing it as a breed worth saving (and eating). Doss Farm is home to
Blondes, Swallow Bellies, and now a breeding pair of Red Mangalitsas, all of the Austria lines.
The Europeans were really onto something. Mangalitsa comes at a premium not only because the meat is far superior to "regular" pork, it's meat and fat is prized by chefs for texture and flavor. It's also been affectionately deemed the "Kobe" of pork. Mangalistas grow slowly, they are raised two to three times longer than standard pork. That's a lot of feed!
The Doss Farm "mangas" live in large pastures with plenty of room to root and roam. The farm, in the majestic foothills of Oregon's Coastal Mountain Range, provides the hogs with a hilly landscape that allows them to develop their muscle and makes for the perfect fat marbling. Just like wine picks up the subtle notes of its terroir, the taste of Doss Farm pork reflects the minerals, nuts, and fruit the pigs enjoy from the farm. It's the most flavorful pork you'll ever eat!