114: An heirloom hog!!!

We're VERY excited about the pig that'll grace our smoker on Saturday.  Look for pictures soon.  I'll be smelling this for 12 hours from my hammock in the log cabin.

Tammara Talley of Trillium Farms writes:

Hi Michael,

I wanted to tell you a little about the pig that you will be cooking this weekend.  It is a very rare cross between two great pig breeds.  This pig is a Mulefoot/Berkshire cross.  The Mulefoot is a very rare breed of heritage hog which is listed on the American Livestock Breed Conservancy as critically endangered.  They are most likely descendant from Spanish hogs brought to America in the 1500's.  In the early 1900's they were prized for their hams but unfortunately lost favor to more efficient, faster growing hog breeds.  There are currently only around 600 in the United States.  There are a handful of dedicated breeders that are working hard to save this breed.  If they do not have a job - great, tasty pork - they will probably disappear from the gene pool in the next 100 years.   We cross our Mulefoots with Berkshire for great marbling.  Berkshire is in high demand by chefs because the meat is juicy, tender and flavorful.  It is called Kurobuto pork by the Japanese and is akin to Kobe beef in Japan. They are originally from England and claim to be Britain's oldest breed of hog.  Our pigs are pasture raised and have access to grass, roots, mountain water and occasional dropped fruit from their shade trees. They are hormone and antibiotic free. We are excited that you are putting this hog on your cooker and are anxious to know how it turns out.

Thanks so much,

For fun, I posted an inquiry on The Smoke Ring bulletin board and got steered to a Canadian farm raising Mulefoots: here!  

It's pretty cool that Trillium Farms right here in Jackson County is raising these pigs.  Maybe we'll do a suckling Mulefoot for Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. Good for you. Smoked many butts myself in the last couple of months. Good luck, and enjoy it!


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I use this blog to chronicle certain aspects of my life near the Smokies. I'm building a cabin. I kayak. Sometimes I bike.