|Country of origin||Hungary|
Sus scrofa domesticus
The Mangalica (sometimes spelt Mangalitsa (USA) or Mangalitza (UK)) is a Hungarian breed of domestic pig. It was developed in the 19th century by cross-breeding the traditional Hungarian Bakonyi and Szalontai breeds with imported Sumadia pigs from Serbia. The Mangalitsa pig grows a thick hairy coat similar to that of a sheep. The only other pig breed noted for having a long coat is the extinct Lincolnshire Curly Coat of England. The Mangalitsa is a lard pig, with a high fat content in the meat; the animals are large and round. Because of the drop in demand for lard, the popularity of the breed has declined and it is now regarded as a rare breed.
It is referred to as the Mangalitza in the United Kingdom and the Mangalitsa in the United States.
The blonde Mangalitsa was developed from older hardy types of Hungarian pig (Bakonyi and Szalontai) crossed with the European Wild Boar and a Serbian breed (and later others like Alföldi) in Austro - Hungary (1833). The development took place in Austro-Hungary (present day Arad county in Romania) in the early 19th century. The new quick-growing "fat-type" hog did not require any special care, and so became very popular in Hungary. In 1927 the National Society of Fat-Type Hog Breeders (Mangalicatenyésztők Országos Egyesülete) was established, with the objective of improving the breed. Mangalitsa was the most prominent swine breed in the region until 1950 (there were 30,000 of them in Hungary in 1943). Since then the popularity as well as the population of Mangalitsa have been decreasing, with the rising availability of food from farther away and refrigeration. Nowadays, the keeping of Mangalicas has become a popular hobby. There are currently slightly over 7,000 Mangalitsa sows in Hungary, producing around 60,000 piglets a year.
In March 2006, 17 Mangalitza were imported from Austria into the UK. These are registered with the British Pig Association (BPA) and the pedigrees are being maintained on the BPA Mangalitza Herd Book. Three of the animals are at Tropical Wings zoo in Essex.
The Swallow-bellied Mangalitsa breed was produced by crossing the blonde Mangalitza and the Black (which has gone extinct).
The Mangalitsa produces too little lean meat so it has been gradually replaced by modern domestic breeds. It is usually fed with a mix of wild pasture, supplemented with potatoes and pumpkins produced on the farm.
The primary product made from this pig is sausage, usually packed in the pig's duodenum. The minced meat is seasoned with salt, pepper, sweet paprika, and other spices. It is then eaten in slices with pickled vegetables. The pork is also served braised with sauerkraut, potatoes, and stuffed peppers as a side dish. Farmers also produce smoked hams. The fresh meat tastes strong and juicy; the suckling pigs are much preferred for their good fresh meat qualities.
In the UK, the breed is kept free-range, fed on standard Sow and Weaner Pellets. The higher quality and protein levels of this food results in a slightly larger stockier pig.
In Hungary, most Mangalitsa pigs are raised semi-intensively or intensively.
Mangalitzas will happily rear their young (who are born striped like wild boars) in outside arks all year round without the need for additional heat and light.
Killing weight (for meat production) is generally achieved beyond 12 months of age; much longer and the additional fat gained becomes too excessive for the UK market.
Meat from Mangalitsa can be easily found in Hungary, as Hungarian farmers produce about 60,000 animals each year.
There are three Mangalitsa breeds: Blonde, Swallow-bellied, and Red. They all have the same behavior; the only difference is the colour. The Blonde Mangalitsa is blonde, the Swallow-bellied (originally produced by crossing the Blonde Mangalitsa with the extinct Black Mangalitsa) has a blonde belly and feet with a black body, and the red (produced by crossing the Blonde Mangalitsa with the Szalonta breed) is ginger. Other breeds (black, wolf, and baris) have died out as pure-bred forms, though their reconstruction from selective breeding of mixed varieties is being debated in Hungary.
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