A resounding yes is what you would hear from anyone who has enjoyed the succulent flavor and tenderness of the pork that comes from a Berkshire Pig. Berkshire pigs are those black pigs you see in pictures or on farms. The combination of tender, juicy and flavorful make it a top choice on the menu of many famous chefs.
Until recently Berkshire pork was produced only in Japan. Kurobuta, black hog, is prized in Japan almost as much as Kobe beef. Fat content was of no concern to the Japanese and the meat from Berkshire’s was highly prized.
When Americans decided pork was not good and made chicken their favorite meat, pork farmers developed pork with less fat and consequently less flavor and moistness. While it may have been “the other white meat” it was not as flavorful as it used to be. Berkshire pork can change all of that. It provides the flavor that has been missing from pork for several years. pasture raised pork
The raising of the Berkshire pig, including it’s food, environment and genetic disposition. The food you feed a pig greatly influences it’s final flavor. This is especially true of the food it gets during the fattening period. Pigs being “what they eat” is not just a cliche. Milk will produce a slightly creamy taste in the meat. If you feed a pig fruits and nuts during the fattening period, the pork will have a nutty flavor. Peanuts produce a peanut flavor. The fat that a pig eats is not broken down, but is stored in muscle. This attributes the varying taste in the final product. Shorter muscle fibers and finer marbling produces the tender juicy flavor of Berkshire pork.
The environment that a pig lives in also affects their taste. Happy cows may live in California, but happy pigs can live wherever there is peace, serenity and comfortable conditions. Shelter from weather extremes and fresh water for a quick swim will help relax the pigs and consequently produce the finer pork everyone desires.
While whole pigs usually cost in the $150 range, it has been reported the as much as $1000 per animal has been paid for the quality of meat from a Berkshire. Needless to say, you will most likely find pork from Berkshire’s at up-scale restaurants in the United States, not at a fast food restaurant.
Once the mainstay of our diets and replaced by beef and chicken, the advent of a fine tasting, tender and juicy pork is regaining it’s popularity among people in countries other than Japan. Berkshire pigs raised on clover and whole grains and followed by fresh milk during their fattening period will produce possibly the finest tasting pork you have had the pleasure of eating. It will not be your dried out roast or chops and you won’t have to pull it an add barbecue sauce to make it taste good. It’s a great tasting meat, right off the pig.