Why are Mangalitzas the wagyu of pork and why are they Tom Adams’ breed of choice? It’s all about genetics it seems. Rare breeds grow more slowly, their natural ability to develop fat has not been bred out of them and the rich marbling throughout gives the meat an intense flavour and makes it very juicy. Indeed Mangalitzas were once so highly prized for their sweet light-tasting fat that they were traded on the Vienna stock exchange. However, genetics is only one part of the picture.
Fat is a vital part of the aroma in cooking and this in turn reflects the lifestyle of the pig – how and where they live and what they eat. These pigs are fed on cobnuts and acorns, whey from the local cheese and pea shoots and old peaches and nectarines from the local vegetable market. Unlike the bigger commercial pig farms, it is not about quantity or size of carcass.
Provenance is not a word Tom bandies around. Voted Young Chef of the Year by The Observer Food Monthly Awards 2017, Tom is a respected and conscientous cook and wants meat that has been well fed and looked after and humanely slaughtered.