Thursday, 10 June 2010

My search for the perfect pig

The other half and I made the decision to dedicate the rest of our lives to the pig in all its glory. This is the story of our piggy odyssey, I hope you'll join me in our pursuits. June 2010 - my search for a viable pig Inspired no doubt by The Good Life, about six months ago we decided to up sticks to the sticks to create our very own piggy pleasure palace - a smallholding with a litter of piglets. Both of us have busy jobs in London, so this is going to be a huge lifestyle change. I find myself wondering if a dedicated city girl like me (what, you mean the off licence shuts at 5pm?!) will be able to cope in the rural back of beyond, but I'm inspired by the thought of a cosy kitchen with an aga, my very own pig run and a calmer, happier pace of life. I'm sure the path to this idyll is littered with the good intentions of many a city-dweller, but I'm convinced that I'm really a country girl at heart. Just substitute wellies for stilettos and we're halfway there... I've started looking for my perfect pig already - I know it's slightly premature since we're still in our house, still in London and still employed, but this is the fun part. I've narrowed it down to rare breeds pigs as they tend to yield a good amount of fat and will sell for more at the end of the day. After watching Gordon Ramsay's The F Word and watching Janet Street Porter wrestling with the curly-haired mangalitzas, I'm intrigued. Not only do they look lovely but their meat is supposed to be excellent. They originated in Austria and Hungary and are very hardy so can withstand bad weather. The other breeds I'm thinking about are the Middlewhite; excellent flavour and fat, and a firm favourite on the menu of my firm favourite restaurant, St John in London, and the Duroc which is a lovely deep auburn colour. A breed that stands out however is the British Lop, which originates in the South West of England on the Cornwall/Devon borders.

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