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Roadapple Ranch

Old Breed Pork

A little history on the pigs that meet our quality standards

English Large Black

The English Large Black Pig is a traditional, heritage breed that has it's origins in the Old English Hog of the 16th and 17th Centuries.  By the late 1800's, the main strongholds of the breed were in East Anglia and Devon & Cornwall.  They were prized for their superior milking and mothering abilities and soon became popular with early Dairy Farmers who fed them whey from separated milk as part of their butter making process. They proved economical to keep and, being excellent grazing pigs, were also used to pick up windfall fruit in orchards. Their black colouring enabled them to withstand the hot summers and avoid sunburn. These virtues, coupled with their hardiness and docile temperament made them eminently suitable for free-range pork production.

In the 1960's, the trend towards intensive farming favouring fast growing, bacon type, white pigs led to a rapid decline in the Large Black breed which did not perform as well under these conditions. As a result this breed, once prized for its succulent, tasty meat fell foul of the whims of farming fashion and has now been placed on the 'critical' list by rare breeds organisations the world over.
English Large Black is  juicy, succulent, and everything American pork is not..

Tamworth

The Tamworth is one of the oldest pig breeds.  It is a direct descendant of the native pig stock of Europe that in turn descended from wild boars. The breed originated in the Midlands of England and takes the name of the town Tamworth in Staffordshire.

The first Tamworth pigs were imported to Canada around 1877.  One of the great ‘dual purpose’ pigs, they produce stunningly good pork as well as equally tremendous bacon. In the mid 1990’s the Tamworth came top in a taste test carried out by Bristol University using both commercial and rare breed pigs in a scientifically controlled experiment.

The Tamworth is a big pig that is full of life, a loving, talkative pig that is really a gentle giant.
As it is one of the longest snouted pigs, it is of great use to the organic gardener or anyone who has a piece of rough overgrown land that needs clearing. In the mid 1800’s it is clear from all the records that the ‘Berkshire’ and 'Tam worth' were closely linked and in view of the association between the ‘Oxford Sandy & Black’ and the ‘Berkshire’ who is to say that all three are not in some way connected.