Berkshires are known as some of the hardiest and tastiest pigs in history. In tests for sensory qualities (or eating characteristics) performed by the National Pork Producers Association (NPPA), Berkshires are the hands-down winners, coming in first overall and ranking above all the other breeds in 19 of the 24 tests NPPA performs in its assessment.
Berkshire pigs are also a heritage breed. They were documented in the English “shire of Berks” over 350 years ago and made their way to the United States in the early 1800s. In 1875, breeders formed the American Berkshire Association (ABA), making it the first breeders group and swine registry in the world. The reason they have been in severe decline over the last thirty years is due to the turn towards fast-growing species that do well in dense, confined populations - a travesty of modern food culture. However, with the growing awareness of the inhumane and unsanitary conditions of confined feeding operations, chefs and consumers alike are discovering and seeking the exceptional qualities of Berkshire pork.
The Japanese, known for prizing kobe beef from wagyu cattle, also prize 100% Berkshire pork, calling it kurobuta.
Our method of pasturing pork creates impeccable flavor. As said in The New York Times: "When pasture-raised meat is good, it's unforgettable...the meat is dense, but not tough and the fat melts slowly, so when you're braising it takes hours for it to soften, and as it cooks, the fat keeps bathing the meat, making it silky. You can also cook this pork simply - grilling or roasting it, for instance. There's no need to infuse it with extra fat and flavor, which is necessary for commercial pork."
Our Berkshires' flavor is further enhanced by daily access to fresh tropical fruits and vegetables, along with fresh peanut and pangola grass.
Learn more about our philosophy on raising Berkshire pigs here at Malama Farm - we provide a hormone-free, natural environment filled with care and stimulation. Happy animals lead to healthy, tasty meat. See what some of the top chefs in Hawaii are saying about our pork here.