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Unread 02-24-2012, 08:28 PM   #7
landarc
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I do not typically compete, but, I do prefer heritage hogs for cooking and eating. My comments:

Berkshire Black (Kurobuta)-meat has a pure white fat, it renders well and the product will end up meaty but with noticeable fatty mouthfeel. The meat is a little more red, and a little stronger in flavor than commodity pork. There is more fat, but, I do not believe it changed cooking times appreciably. This is a great flavor and fat pork. The shoulders make a great pulled or chopped product. Typically the butts are smaller than commodity pork.

Duroc-another fine pork, with a fine white fat and a lighter pink color, similar in appearance to commodity pork. This pork has typically taken less time to render and cook for me. The flavor is outstanding and the cut is a little longer and narrower than Berkshire Black. I really like the bellies, as they are narrow and lean, makes for a delicate cut. Again, smaller than your typical commodity hog cut.

Halukka-exclusive hybrid breed for Beeler's pork in Indiana, an amazing and flavorful butt, with good white fat, these have run larger than heritage hogs cuts, and darker pink than commodity pork. I really like this pork and will buy them when I can. They cook slower but, are much more flavorful and produce a product with less of a fatty mouthfeel. I do not like these pulled into strings, they seem to dry out a bit as they cool.

Niman Ranch, will not disclose breed, but, they are from largely Indiana and Iowa farmers, and the pork is outstanding. These are typically grown for chops, thus the shoulders I have found have been larger than most, with noticeable marbling and great texture. I really like these pulled into larger chunks for eating. Like the Halluka, not a great stringed up pork product.

Landrace, I am not sure which one, I believe the farmer I was buying them from was using Dutch Landrace, but, I have forgotten. These were large butts, with lean meat between veins of very white fat. These cooked up amazingly well, sadly, I have not seen it on the market of late. The young woman who was farming these may have gotten out of the business. These were great butts to work with, and made the best pulled pork product I have had.

Hope that helped. I would gladly compete with any of these. I have used the Snake River farms chops, but, not the butts. I believe it is a straigth Kurobuta (Berkshire Black hog) with selective processing.
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