Produce Profile: Country Accent Mangalitsa
Country Accent is the only producer of the Hungarian Mangalitsa breed in western Canada. My first introduction to Malorie was at a Swine & Dine dinner last year in the Harvest Room at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. The heritage breed is often described as the kobe beef of pork, and chef Serge Jost took advantage of the lard producing pig by starting things off by serving the buttery smooth lard with fresh bread.
I’ve learned that the Mangalitsa heritage breed is ideal for curing, and a single animal is capable of producing 70 litres of rendered fat. In contrast to other Alberta Pork producers, Country Accent raises their pigs to two years to help add fat and develop the flavour.
On the farm tour we had an opportunity see their woolly pigs up close and even get a peek at some of the newest additions to the farm which are striped like wild African pigs. Country Accent’s pigs roam freely on the farm and I jokingly asked if I could take one of the smaller ones home. Valerie said if I could catch one I could have it; it was a challenge I was not up for.
As the meat is very different from the more leaner pork Albertans have grown accustom to, demand in Country Accent‘s Mangalitsa breed has taken time, but interest is slowly growing, and a handful of butchers and restaurants in Edmonton and Calgary have become regular customers.
I myself have become addicted to the Country Accent pancetta cured up by Acme Meat Market in Edmonton. Country Accent products are also available at Vivo Ristorante and Fuge Fine Meat in Edmonton, and diners in Calgary can have a taste at The Living Room and River Cafe.