The Mangalitsa is a Sheep-Pig

(Photo: Orycteropus)

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.

-via Makin’ology


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I saw this and considered adding it to Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly. Then I read the whole thing and thought, no, Neatolicious might be better. Then I decided that was weird, so I left it alone.
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Interestingly, despite its relatively high fat content, the mangalitza's meat is prized in Hungary for its low cholesterol. They are said to produce "healthier" meat and sausages than other pigs. No idea whether that's true, though.

They're pretty intimidating creatures, too. Had the opportunity to feed and stroke some at a farm specialized in old breeds. They look like the missing link between household pigs and boars. They're pretty big and have impressive tusks. And their wool, to answer Alex' question (: , is really really wiry. You could knit chainmail out of that.
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