Certified Organic Berkshire Pork

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7 reasons why Berkshire pork is a spectacular taste experience

Several years ago we acquired a small number of Berkshire pigs, and began raising them on our farm to see how they'd integrate with our outdoor, organic farming model. We'd heard reports that Berkshire pork had unique flavor characteristics which we thought our customers and local upscale restaurants might find attractive. And because we had already been having good success with our heritage-breed Tamworths, it seemed like a good idea to give the Berkshires a chance to find a place for themselves on the farm. We are happy to report that things have worked out very well!

The history of the Berkshire breed is uncertain, but is believed to have originated in England with possibly some outside genetic involvement from Asian black pigs. They are a gorgeous black and white breed and have become one of the most unique and treasured of all the heritage breeds, having been bred to produce meat of extraordinary flavor, tenderness, and color. As a result, Berkshire pork has become prized by some of the world's top chefs.

The first thing we noticed about our Berkshires was their docile temperaments. They are calmer than our Tamworths, although not as calm as our Large Blacks. They are somewhere in between the two. This makes for a nice animal to have on the farm.

The second thing we noticed was their unique body type. They appear to be more muscular than the other breeds. But in truth they are not that muscular, rather they simply have less subcutaneous body fat because they deposit more of their fat intra-muscularly. This gives them the appearance of being ripped because all their fat is hiding within their muscle fibers.

The third thing we noticed is they are excellent foragers, and derive a good portion of their diet from the grass, roots and plant life of their farm habitat. This provides variety in their diet, gives them pleasure, and results in greater nutrient density in their meat.

Known as "kurobuta" pork in Japan (kurobuta means black pig in Japanese), the Berkshire has become a favorite in Asian food culture and for good reason: there have been studies conducted which measure the taste of various breeds of pig, with Berkshire pork consistently ranking at the top.

Here are 7 reasons why Berkshire pork is simply spectacular:

  • Berkshires are reported to have a higher amount of type 1 fibers and a lower amount of type2B fibers than other pig breeds. This contributes to tenderness.

  • The ph of Berkshire pork tends to be higher than other breeds. This results in a sweeter taste.

  • Berkshires tend to have more intramuscular fat than other breeds. This means more marbling.

  • Their meat has a smooth, almost creamy taste which is outstanding. This is due to the higher fat content.

  • The color of Berkshire pork tends to be a deeper shade of red, even more than other heritage breeds. This redder color results in a deeper flavor.

  • High levels of marbling result in delectable pork which self-bastes. Berkshire pork retains moisture this way.

  • Berkshire fat is high in healthy monounsaturated fats. In fact it is reported to be a richer source of monounsaturated fat than butter.

Although Berkshire pigs grow more slowly than other breeds, the wait is worth it. We believe slow-grown meat is more delicious, nutritious, and humane. If you haven't tried our Berkshire pork yet, now is a good time. And if you are a chef looking to "wow" your guests with delicious local pasture-raised Berkshire pork which is also SPCA certified and certified organic, just let us know and we can provide you with whole-pig pricing and availability.

This girl is a gorgeous Berkshire pig and she's rooting for bullrushes.
This girl is a gorgeous Berkshire pig and she's rooting for bullrushes.