The Mangalitsa is a rare breed of pig from Hungary. It’s the result of a Nineteenth Century experiment in the Austro-Hungarian Empire to breed a pig with very high fat content in order to produce large amounts of lard.
The breed faded in popularity and almost died out. The pigs take a full year to grow to 350 pounds—twice the time of more popular breeds. But in the 1990s, interest in the breed revived. There are now about 60,000 Mangalitsa pigs around the world, including some in the U.S.
(Photo: Derzi Elekes Andor)
The deep red meat consists of 50% fat, giving it a buttery flavor that is treasured by gourmands around the world. The lard is also prized by elite chefs who prefer to cook with it.