Large Black

Large Black Pig 

The Large Black, also known as the Devon or Cornwall Black, is a breed of domestic pig native to Great Britain.  A long and deep-bodied pig, it is robust with a docile temperament.  Its foraging ability makes it suitable for extensive farming. Becoming popular in the early 1900s, the Large Black was exported to many parts of the world. Numbers declined after World War II as farmers turned to breeds which were more suitable for intensive pig farming, and by the 1960s the breed was almost extinct. The population is now on the increase again, but the breed is still considered vulnerable.  Large Black sows typically give birth to large litters.  Meat from the Large                                                                                          Black is known for its flavor, lean quality and lack of excess back fat.



Berkshire

Berkshire

Originating from the English county of Berkshire, the Berkshire is a rare breed of pig which is listed as vulnerable.  In 2008 fewer than 300 breeding sows were known to exist.  Herds are still raised in England and some Berkshire pigs are kept in New Zealand.  The American Berkshire Association gives pedigree status only to pigs which are directly imported from English Herds or to those traced back to imported pigs.  Berkshires are mostly covered with short black hair, but have white hair on their legs, faces and tips of their tails.  They are well known for their juiciness, flavor and tenderness. Their pink-hued and heavy marbled meat has a high fat content and is excellent for long and high-temperature cooking. 

Ossabaw Island Hog

Ossabaw

The Ossabaw Island Pig is derived from a population of feral pigs on Ossabaw Island, Georgia.  These black Iberian hogs are descendants of hogs that were released on the island by Spanish explorers in the 16th century.  A breeding population has been established on American farms off the island, but they remain an extremely rare and highly sought after variety of pig.  Ossabaw hogs display a wide range of colours, the most common being the black and white spotted variety.  They are robust and very good foragers, making them suitable for extensive farming.  They are also intelligent with an unfriendly temperament.  Meat from the Ossabaw is dark with a unique texture.  It is considered artisanal and well-suited for curing and whole pig roasts.

Meishan

Meishan

The Meishan is a domestic pig named after a province in China and is a sub-group of the Taihu pig.  The Meishan played a key role improving Europe's pig breeds, and was imported to the U.S. in the late 1980s.  It is small to medium-sized and has large drooping ears and wrinkled black skin.  In terms of temperament, it is one of the friendliest and most docile breeds around.  It consumes large quantities of roughage.  Meat from the Meishan is highly marbled with tender muscle fiber and rich, healthy fat commonly used for making lard. 

Swabian Hall

Schwabian Hall

Orginating from Schwäbisch Hall in Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany, the Schwabian-Hall Swine is a domestic pig. The Schwabian-Hall is a hybrid of the Chinese Meishan pig and German Landrace Swine.  The Meishan pig was imported to Germany in the early 1800s to crossbreed with the German hog with the intention of increasing fat content.  The breed was popular until the 1960's, at which point consumers began to favor leaner pork.  By 1984 numbers had dwindled to only 7 breeding sows.  Nevertheless, a small number of farmers kept the breed going. There are now 1,500 sows registered to breed.  Today Schwabian-Hall meat has a high reputation among chefs due to its darker meat and strong, distinctive flavor.

Hereford

Hereford


Named for its color and pattern, which is similar to that of Hereford cattle, the Hereford Pig is red with a white face. Originating in America, the Hereford is a rare variety which was created in the 1920s from a synthesis of the Duroc, the Poland China, the Chester White and Berkshire pigs.  The breed is very popular in the Midwestern United States.  By the mid-20th century the population had grown considerably, but it decreased again from the 1960s as the commercial pork industry moved away from purebred hogs toward hybrids. Today 2,000 breeding animals remain.  Herefords thrive on pastures and are known for their calm disposition. A slower growing breed, Hereford pigs yield rich colored, marbled meat.

Mulefoot

Mulefoot

Mulefoot pigs are a domestic pig named after their non-cloven hooves, which are similar to those of a mule. Mulefoots originated when the Spanish introduced swine to the Gulf Coast. An exact date is not known.  Typically black, Mulefoot pigs flourished during the early part of the 1900s, but by 1985 only one herd remained. There are now fewer than 150 pure bred Mulefoots in existence, making it a critically endangered breed.  However, over the last decade in the United States efforts have been made to conserve the breed and there are now 40 farms across the country that own breeding groups.  
                                                                                                                      Mulefoot pigs are docile and weigh between 400 and 600 pounds                                                                                                                             before they reach two years old. Producing premium hams, the                                                                                                                                 Mulefoot’s superior tasting meat is red with abundant marbling.

Iron Age Pig

The Iron Age pig is a cross between a wild boar and a domestic pig.  They were first bred to re-create the type of pig represented in prehistoric art works from the Iron Age in ancient Europe. This project started in the early 1980's by crossing a male wild boar with a Tamworth sow.  Iron Age pigs are raised for speciality meat markets. They are more aggressive and harder to handle than domestic pigs.  The meat from the Iron Age Pig has a natural layer of fat on it which gives it wonderful flavour and marbling.