Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Mangalica pig is an old breed originated from Hungary. Its body is covered by a very characteristic thick, curly hair, which makes it resemble a sheep. The fleece can be red or black but it is most commonly blonde. Being one of the largest pigs in the world, Mangalica lives about three times longer than other breeds and it is also much more resistant to some diseases.
Mangalica was the most popular breed in Hungary from the 1880s but it was nearly lost to extinction by the 1990s. This happened, on one hand, because it was not well-suited to the modern style of agriculture - it needs a lot of space and special treatment -, and on the other hand, because it didn’t fit the new dietary recommendations. From the 1960s, dietary guidelines have been telling us that fat - especially animal fat - is bad for our health, causing all kinds of disease. The advice was that we should reduce our fat consumption and use vegetable oils instead of all animal fat. This totally false narrative is still widespread. But what happened to the rate of obesity, heart disease and cancer? They increased! I do not claim that all of this is caused by vegetable oils but that it is clear that they have contributed to this crisis of non-communicable diseases.
Luckily, Mangalica has regained its popularity in Hungary and all over the world during the last 10-15 years.
One of the main characteristics of Mangalica is that it is very high in fat, up to 70%, with an excellent fatty acid composition. This fat is high in monounsaturated (±58%) and relatively lower in saturated (±34%) fatty acids. Regarding polyunsaturated fatty acids, It has more anti-inflammatory omega 3 and less pro-inflammatory omega 6 than modern pork breeds. It can contain two to three times higher omega 3 than many varieties of fish. The fatty acid composition of Mangalica pork strongly resembles that of human breast milk.
Mangalica fat is an important source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to affect body composition positively and has various other health benefits as well.
It is is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, such as different B vitamins, vitamin D, zinc, iron, phosphorus and magnesium.
The taste of Mangalica is amazingly delicious because of its high fat content. It is ideal for the production of bacon, cured ham and different sausages and salamis.
Mangalica is a very important part of the Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet (PKD®), the ketogenic diet, the carnivore diet or a simple, healthy, whole-food based diet because of its excellent quality.
Enjoy the bacon, ham, meat and organ meats and different sausages of this unique pork.