A new breed of pork is gaining popularity among American chefs, but its appearance might surprise you.
Often described as halfway between a pig and a sheep, the woolly Mangalitsa is the result of crossbreeding between a wild boar and a lard pig.
Born out of a 19th century experiment conducted in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Mangalitsa’s low-hanging body is shaped to the porcine standard, but is covered in long, wispy curls of white woolly hair.
While this animal may appear unappetizing to the eye, its meat is nothing short of delicious. After having been popularly enjoyed in Hungary for years, the fatty meat of this special pig is now arriving in the U.S., and for many pork enthusiasts it’s a must-try.
The Mangalitsa’s meat is described as being closer to beef than pork, owing to its marbled texture and 50 percent fat content.
Today the highest concentration of purebred Mangalitsa pigs can be found in Hungary, with the country claiming 50,000 out of the total 60,000 Mangalitsas that exist worldwide.