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What is Berkshire Pork?

02/07/2021

Berkshire pork is known for its flavor and quality, and it’s one of the bestselling types of meat on ChopLocal. But what makes it so good? This guide will tell you more about Berkshire pork and why you should give it a try.

Breeds of Pigs - Berkshire Pigs

To understand why Berkshire pork is so good, you have to know a little bit about different breeds of pigs.

You’re familiar with different breeds of dogs, right? There are retrievers, terriers, huskies, and hundreds of other breeds. And each of those breeds has a specific purpose and specific set of traits that set it apart from the others.

The various breeds of pigs are very similar. Some are known for their mothering skills, others are known to be very lean, and others are known for their marbled meat.

Berkshire pigs are the third most common breed in the United States, behind Yorkshire (the pink pigs grown on most farms) and Duroc.

The Berkshire breed originated about 300 years ago, in Berkshire, England. Careful breeding led to the black fur and delicious meat we know today.

Berkshire Pork

Berkshire pigs have a higher concentration of fat than some other breeds, which was highly desirable when lard was used for a variety of purposes. Over the years, though, consumers began to prefer leaner pork, and fewer Berkshire pigs were raised.

However, a recent resurgence in interest in heritage breeds has led to an increase in the number of Berkshire pigs raised in the United States.

Berkshire pork is sometimes called the “wagyu of pork.” Wagyu beef is known for its marbling and tenderness, and Berkshire pork is also well-respected for those traits. In fact, in Japan (the home of wagyu beef), Berkshire pork is known as Kurobuta pork, and is often sold at a premium.

And the premium seems to be well-deserved! According to tests by the National Pork Board, Berkshire pork places first in nineteen out of twenty traits, including:

  • Loin color
  • Loin tenderness
  • Loin marbling
  • Best tasting in all categories
  • Superior cooked moisture content

When you purchase Berkshire pork, you may notice that it has a darker color to it. That is because of an increased pH level in the meat, which is associated with more tender, juicy and flavorful pork.

So if you are looking for a flavorful, tender, marbled cut of pork, Berkshire is a good fit for you. If you are looking for something leaner, with less fat and fewer calories, Berkshire is probably not the best choice.

ChopLocal’s Berkshire Pork

Old Station Craft Meats, an old-fashioned butcher shop in Waukee, Iowa, offers several different cuts of Berkshire pork, which can be picked up in store or shipped nationwide.

The Berkshire pork on the ChopLocal marketplace all comes from farmers in the midwest, who prioritize animal welfare and sustainability on their farms.

Ready to give it a try? Click here to shop for Berkshire Pork!

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