Our Mangalitsa Pigs & Us
Beal's Farm Ltd is a family run business based at Eridge Park Estate, Kent. We have our own herd of Mangalitsa pigs which are reared and produced by us for our range of British artisanal charcuterie.
Beal’s Farm speciality pigs are reared on a mixture of woodland and pasture to ensure the highest possible quality pork is used.
HISTORY OF THE MANGALITSA PIG
The Mangalitsa pig is one of the oldest established animals in husbandry, having been domesticated some 8,000 years ago in Asia, from where it was brought to Europe. There are three Mangalitsa breeds: Blonde, Red, and Swallow-bellied.
Known variously as the Mangalitsa, this Old World breed pig is indigenous to Hungary. Its name means 'hog with a lot of lard' and is pronounced mahn-ga-leets-ah. Not only does the Mangalitsa pig have a lot of lard, it has a lot of curly hair which makes it resemble a sheep. The Mangalitsa is the last pig in existence to sport this unusual and colourful fleece. These heritage breeds are prized for their well-marbled, toothsome, flavourful meat, not to mention a wickedly decadent abundance of fat. Mangalitsas resemble a cross between a sheep and a pig – they're sometimes called 'wooly pigs,' for good reason - and they're related to the wild boar. Like their boar brethren, Mangalitsa meat is lightly gamey, with a sweet, nutty, intense flavour.
The Mangalitsa pig was honoured by the great composer Johann Strauss II in 1885 his Operetta 'The Gypsy Baron', in which the pig breeder Zsupan declares that he lives for pigs and speck - but has no time for intellectual activities.
But with changing conditions in animal husbandry after World War II, when tastes changed in Western Europe, and Hungarian Agriculture was collectivised, the breed rapidly declined and was replaced with leaner and more rapidly growing breeds. By the end of the 1970s Mangalitsa pigs in Austria could only be found in National Parks and Zoos, and across Europe the Mangalitsa was nearly lost to extinction by the 1990’s when fewer than 200 pigs remained in Hungary and Austria.
Exportation along with cross breeding of the UK indigenous Lincolnshire Curly Coated breed (also in rapid decline, the last Lincolnshire Curly Coat being registered in 1972) with the Mangalitsa took place in the 1970's the resulting pig breed nicknamed the 'Lincolista'.
In 2006, 17 pigs of the breed were brought back to the UK and established all three Mangalitsa breed lines, the 'Blonde', 'Swallow Bellied' and the 'Red' with the support of the British Pig Association (BPA) to be named in a new Mangalitsa herd book. In 2007, a herd of 24 Swallow-belly Mangalitsa gilts and boars were imported to the USA.
In the USA and here in the UK the breed is considered to be a meat of excellence, in particular when used for charcuterie production.
Our range of charcuterie is produced from Mangalitsa pork, where demand outweighs supply from our own herd, we source local free range pork and beef to maintain quality meat for our products.
Our pigs are never injected with hormones or antibiotics and are slaughtered under the Humane Slaughter protocol.