THE TASTE OF RED WATTLE PORK:
Renowned St. Louis chef Julie Ridlon (owner of Chanterelle Catering,
co-founder of Clayton Farmer's Market, and founder of
Missouri Chef's Collaborative) reported the following:
"On Oct. 24, 2006 I hosted an industry pork butchering and blind tasting,
which included around 20 cooks, interns and chefs (including St. Louis
area's Andy White and Ed Neil). We compared water content, fat color,
what the pigs were fed, varieties of heritage breeds....and of course
a loin from Sam's wholesale just to contrast.
We had 7 samples, all from small family pork farmers except for Sam's :
1) Berkshire fed Jersey whey, Rolla, MO.
2) Berkshire not fed Jersey whey, Cape Girardeau, MO
3) Duroc, Oklahoma
4) RED WATTLE, Kansas
5) Chester/Tamworth, Cape Girardeau, MO
6) Ossabaw, Chapel Hill, NC
7) Sam's wholesale loin...
The RED WATTLE entry won 1st place in the blind taste test.
We are waiting for a time when it is feasible to buy RED WATTLE
wholesale for our restaurants and catering businesses."
Editor's note: Julie told us after the taste test that most of the pork
samples were fresh slabs of meat, whereas the RED WATTLE meat
came to them frozen.
Kevin Gillespie, world-respected Executive Chef of Spokane's Luna restaurant,
says that his favorite hog is the Red Wattle.
Bon Appetit magazine's February 2008 issue makes mention of the Red Wattle
in two separate articles, establishing them as an up-and-coming breed.
In an article about Manhattan's posh Del Posto restaurant joint-owned by
Mario Batali, we read, " One of Batali's preferred breeds, the Red Wattle pig,
once had a dwindling population but, thanks to demand from restaurants
like Del Posto, it has become a viable breed for farmers to grow.
"We joke that we're preserving these pigs by eating them," says
Del Posto executive Mark Ladner.
and the meat is great—we’re REALLY addicted to that bacon and we had fun
making a brined ham with a whole leg for Christmas last fall—best we’ve
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