Red Wattle Pigs
At the Slow Meat Conference in Denver back in 2015, we were introduced to a most remarkable pig. At a side-by-side tasting of meat from a number of heritage breeds, we were blown away by the flavour profile of the Red Wattle. Not only was the flavour of the meat outstanding, the taste and texture of the fat was like nothing we had ever tasted before. We also learned that in addition to mouth-watering taste, these pigs also produced a leaner carcass than other heritage breeds.
Now we never got many complaints about our pork but one thing that does come up with some regularity is the fat content. Fat is a tricky thing. You see, the reason heritage pork tastes so much better than conventional pork is because it is fattier and that fat is where all the flavour is. But not everyone can handle the large fat cap that you find on most heritage breeds. So, if there was a way to preserve that amazing heritage pork flavour with a higher meat to fat ratio, we knew we had to have it.
Our journey to Red Wattles was not an easy one. We quickly learned that there are less than a handful of registered breeders in Canada and that importing breeding stock, or even semen from the United States was prohibitively complicated and expensive. It took 5 years before we were able to get a very small breeding program going here and sell our first purebred Red Wattle sides.
In addition to simply producing the best pork we have ever tasted, we were delighted to learn that they are also the most gentle pigs we have ever handled. This is truly a very desirable quality in an animal that can reach 1000lbs at maturity and has a low centre of gravity! Trust us on this one!
The feedback from our customers, and the customers of the other farmers and ranchers we have sold stock to has been better than we had even dreamed so we know we are on to something good. We continue to struggle greatly with procuring fresh blood lines from an extremely limited gene pool but we are passionate about keeping this breed from essentially going extinct in Canada.
If you are a consumer, you can help preserve this incredible breed by eating it! Order a side today and find out what all the fuss is about.
If you are a producer, you can help by buying your own registered breeding stock from us. Red Wattles cross beautifully with other heritage breeds. They finish in the same time as any other heritage breed but will produce a leaner, delicious carcass. Contact us for more information.