What Makes Berkshire Pork So Special?
Berkshire pork is prized around the world for its richness, succulent texture, marbling, and complexity of flavor. The taste of Berkshire pork is unlike that of any other meat, carrying a distinct flavor that is far from bland, mild, or generic like other types of pork.
But, why is Berkshire pork so special?
The history of the hog breed is what sets the foundation for the popularity and the superior quality of Berkshire pork meat.
The Origins of Berkshire Pork
The Berkshire pig is the oldest identifiable hog breed, dating back to England in the 1600s, where it was rumored to have been discovered by Sir Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell and his army greatly valued the Berkshire hogs for their succulent, tender, flavorful, and generally superior meat compared to the other livestock available. At the time, the Berkshire hog was described as being reddish or sandy in coloration.
The very first Berkshire hogs came to the United States in 1823, where they quickly assimilated into the general hog population as a result of the significant improvements that developed from the Berkshire hogs mixing with the stock of common hogs. However, not everyone was keen on the Berkshire hogs mingling with the other stock.
In 1875, a number of American Berkshire hog breeders and importers congregated in Springfield, Illinois, to discuss a plan for maintaining the purity of the Berkshire hog bloodline. This group operated under the belief that the Berkshire hog should remain pure for the improvement of the swine already in the United States. They were concerned the population of the common hogs would be reduced to a fraction of what it presently was at the time.
The American Berkshire Association was founded February 25, 1875, as the world’s very first swine registry, praised and utilized by breeders in both the U.S. and in England. Queen Victoria was actually the first person to breed a Berkshire hog, one named Ace of Spades.
Today, Berkshire pork remains a prized, high-quality meat of supreme flavor, tenderness, and texture.
What Does Berkshire Pork Taste Like?
Berkshire pork is so special because it is completely unlike any other type of pork meat in the world. In fact, the difference between commodity pork and Berkshire pork is even a visible one. Berkshire pork is darker, with a more robust coloration and a dense networking of intramuscular marbling. The marbling is comparable to prime beef, with the meat holding a distinctive flavor and unparalleled tenderness when it comes to pork.
Berkshire pork has a notably higher concentration of unsaturated fats than most other breeds of swine. This was a significant benefit during the days when lard was used for a wide variety of purposes.
Throughout the years, consumers started to demand a leaner pork option. This resulted in fewer Berkshire hogs being raised and less Berkshire pork meat being available.
However, a resurgence in consumer interest in heritage hog breeds led to an influx of Berkshire hogs being raised in the United States. Berkshire pork is now commonly referred to as “the wagyu of pork”, a nod to the type of beef famous for its extremely tender texture and rich marbling – two things Berkshire pork is also known for.
According to the National Pork Board, Berkshire pork places first in nineteen out of twenty traits, including:
- Best tasting within all categories
- Superior moisture content when cooked
The darker coloration for which Berkshire pork is known comes from the meat’s high pH level. A higher pH level directly correlates to more succulent, flavorful, and tender pork meat.
Berkshire pork has an elegant and smooth flavor, one that is robust, sweet, buttery, and slightly earthy. This pork melts on the tongue and slices easily.
If you’re looking for a supremely flavorful, tender, and marbled cut of pork, Berkshire pork is perfect. If you are looking for a more leaner meat, with less fat and fewer calories, then perhaps something not Berkshire pork is the better option.
Different Types of Berkshire Pork Salami
There are a myriad of ways to cook, cure, and prepare Berkshire pork. But, when it comes to finding the best type of Berkshire pork meat, the search ends with Berkshire Pork Salami.
Our Berkshire pork meat is all sourced directly from a Kansas family-owned farm where the pigs are domestically raised and spend the majority of their lives roaming freely outside. The hogs are all raised in a low-stress environment without the use of an amount of antibiotics, steroids, or growth hormones.
The Berkshire pork for Angel’s Salumi & Truffles is certified under the six-point USDA Process Verified Program to ensure consistent quality and adherence to product standards. The six-point stipulation list includes: age, source and location of hog from birth to harvest, feeding, hog raising protocols, and processing.
Our Berkshire Pork Meat is all richly flavorful, tender, and incomparable to any other.
Black Truffle Berkshire Salami
Our Black Truffle Salami is a hugely popular customer favorite. This unique type of Berkshire salami is made using 100% Berkshire pork meat and 5% Black Truffles sourced from Perigord, France. Our Black Truffle Berkshire Salami is fermented, aged for three months in a dry room, and prepared with French brandy and spices for a truly unforgettable taste.
[READ: What Does Truffle Salami Taste Like? to discover the divine flavor of black truffle salami]
French Rosette Salami
Your taste buds are in for a treat with our traditional French Rosette Salami. Made with 100% Berkshire pork meat, this classic-style Rosette is fermented and aged for three months. The sweet flavor of clove, nutmeg, garlic, and white wine blending together encompasses the traditional recipe of Rosette.
Elk & Berkshire Salami
Our Elk & Berkshire Salami is a savory combination of Elk meat and Berkshire pork meat that has been infused with red port wine, red Dutch cacao powder, and pink peppercorn. The salami is fermented and aged in a dry room for three months.
Venison & Berkshire Salami
Our Venison & Berkshire Pork Salami is made using New Zealand Venison and Berkshire Pork. This Berkshire salami is fermented, aged for three months, and seasoned with red wine, juniper berries, and black peppercorn.
[Want to try more artisan meats? Try one of our Food Subscription Boxes, featuring selections of our Berkshire salami options.]
Italian Uncured Smoked Berkshire Bratwurst
Our customer-favorite Berkshire Pork in the form of juicy and delicious Italian-style, uncured smoked bratwursts. Made with 100% Berkshire pork meat from humanely raised and vegetarian-fed hogs raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones, our Berkshire Pork Bratwursts are free of any MSG, phosphate, gluten, nitrates, and nitrites. This divine Berkshire pork sausage fully captures the flavors of Italy.
Spanish-Style Berkshire Lomo
The Angel’s Salumi & Truffles Spanish Lomo is made using 100% Berkshire Pork loin. The meat is dry-cured and massaged with five different Spanish paprika. From there, the Spanish Lomo is aged inside its casing in a dry room to preserve the aroma. Our own Chef Pascal says this Spanish Berkshire Lomo “will literally melt in your mouth”, so be prepared for unforgettable culinary experience.
[READ: The Best Salami and Cheese Pairings for a Quick and Easy Charcuterie for additional ways to use Berkshire pork salami]
Italian Toscano Salami
Another flavorful type of Berkshire Pork meat is our classic Italian-Style Toscano Salami, made with 100% Berkshire pork. The Berkshire pork is prepared with black peppercorn, white wine, and fresh garlic, dry-cured, fermented, and then aged for three months.
[READ: Choosing the Best Dry-Cured Meats to Pack for Military Deployment to learn more about dry-cured meats]
Finding Humanely Raised Berkshire Pork Meat
Finding and selecting high-quality Berkshire pork meats is already a challenge, but then you also want to make sure to look for humanely raised Berkshire pork. That can be a bit more difficult.
Angel’s Salumi & Truffles in Carlsbad, California, has all the Berkshire Pork you could ask for, prepared in a multitude of different ways. All of our meat is humanely raised, free-range, cage-free, or wild and without the use of any amount of antibiotics, steroids, or growth hormones. We do not use MSG, phosphates, nitrates, or nitrites.
But, it does robust flavor and a variety of recipe options that you will want to come back for again and again.
Try one of the above different types of Berkshire Salami or give us a call at 760-931-1324 and we will be happy to help you find the best Berkshire Pork for your needs and flavor preferences.