The Duke of Berkshire
The meat of the Duke of Berkshire pigs are renowned for their dark colour and characteristic marbling that instantly proclaims the pork’s unique succulence and tenderness. This is pork at its very best. Another striking property of the meat is the exceptional sweet taste. The meat thanks its special qualities to its high pH value, its finer and shorter muscle fibre and the high fat content. The high final pH value accounts for the good moisture retention so that the meat barely shrinks during cooking and loses little if any juice when sliced. Even if the meat has been kept in the fridge for several days, it loses virtually no moisture.
Animal-friendly and stress-free life
The Berkshire pigs are raised in the most animal-friendly manner possible and live in the healthiest conditions. Berkshire sows have litters of just five or six piglets, just half the size of other breeds’ litters. The free range piglets have a plant-based diet with a carefully selected mix of grains and apples. On this diet, their build at maturity is sturdier than that of the average pig. From their birth until the moment they weigh between 120 and 130 kilogrammes, the animals live in the familiar surroundings of their home farm. They do not come into contact with other animals, so germs have no chance and antibiotics are virtually unheard of. Preventive antibiotics are unknown in the world in which Duke of Berkshire pigs live.
The fat layer of a Duke of Berkshire pig is three times as thick as that of any other breed. It gives the pork its rich taste, succulence and juiciness. Yet, thanks to selective breeding, the fat content is just 2% to 3%! What’s more, it is distributed evenly between the lean layers so that the meat has a beautiful appearance. Another remarkable characteristic is the finer and shorter muscle fibre structure, which gives the meat its succulence.
The Duke of Berkhire by Arjan Bisschop*
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