Some of the oldest and rarest pig breeds in the world are being sought after by high profile Australian restaurants as chefs seek distinctive flavours for their menus.
In the 1960s breeds like the Large Black were nearly extinct, but dedicated pig farmers are helping to keep them in production.
At Queensland’s second-largest free-range pork farm, Backfatters at Degilbo, west of Maryborough, Julia and Shane Powell are among those producers whose pork and ham is gaining a reputation for high-quality, unique flavours.
Running a mix of Large Blacks and Berkshires, Ms Powell said the heritage breeds thrived in a free-range environment.
“We chose those breeds for a couple of reasons. They taste absolutely delicious, and they’re really good mums,” she said.
“For us it’s all about having food that tastes good and is good for you, and that’s exactly what free-range piggies, especially our black piggies, outdoor piggies are for you.”
Ms Powell calls herself an accidental pig farmer — seven years ago a plan to grow all her own food went awry when her boar broke down four fences to mate with all six of her sows at once.
Three months, three weeks and three days later, 60 heritage-breed piglets were born on the same night, and the Powells had a pig farm.
Dec 23 2017