Berkshire Pork is a heritage breed of pig, known for its succulent flavour! The National Pork Producers Council (USA) conducted a taste test using 25 quality traits, and Berkshire ranked #1 in 19 of these categories, including tenderness and juiciness. Unlike commercial pork, Berkshire pork is visibly different; its flavour is distinctive and abundant, with a darker, richer colour. Although typically a “lard pig,” our Berkshires lead a very active life and consume a lot of forages like clover and orchardgrass, as well as apples, to supplement their grain diet.
Now not all Berkshires are the same, as it is not just the breed that makes our pork so delicious! In fact, much of pork quality comes from the way in which our pigs are raised. We strive to raise our animals in a way that lets them be the animals they are, so for the pigs, that means the right to root in the brush, wallow in the mud, run around in the grass, and feel the sun shine on their backs. Allowing them the space to exercise creates muscling, allowing intramuscular fat deposits to form, which is just like the marbling you see in a good cut of beef. Pigs raised in confinement do not have this, part of the reason conventional pork is often dry. Also, exercise gets the blood flowing, and there is evidence to suggest that this increased movement of hemoglobin in the body also leads to improved flavour.