Made from intensely flavorful, hand selected cuts of mangalitsa pork
that have been carefully slow cured, these artisan quality country hams
combine the best traditions of Austria, Hungary and the American South.
The resulting final product is among the very finest hams produced in
These mangalitza hams have had their bones removed for more convenient carving and roasting.
Note: because of the expert curing process, this mangalitsa
pork is completely shelf stable at room temperature until its packaging
is opened. As such, it is shipped via ground without ice packs.
Read below for more information about the traditional curing process and Mangalitsa pork used to produce this ham.
Mangalitsa Pork: Buttery, Rich, Moist
Mangalitsa pigs (aka
mangalica pigs) are a “lard-type” heritage breed. Because of their
unique wooly appearance, they are sometimes also referred to as “wooly
While almost all other pig breeds raised in America are “meat-type”
breeds that have been bred since World War 2 to be leaner and leaner
with each generation (their meat progressively getting dryer and less
flavorful), Mangalitsas have remained essentially the same since the
breed with first developed in Hungary in 1833.
Mangalitsa pork is extremely well marbled (often with more than
double the marbling of conventional pork), with buttery, yet cleaner
tasting, smooth fat. Mangalitsa meat’s flavor is far superior to
mainstream pork and it is also much less likely to dry out.
The Mangalitsa breed, when raised using Austrian husbandry techniques
and with ultra high-quality feed as these pigs have been, produces fat
that is primarily monounsaturated and higher in oleic acid. This means
it melts at lower temperatures for a rich, moist result in cooking, and
also cures far better than conventional pork, producing exceptional hams
and cured shoulders.
Consumption of monounsaturated fats may also be associated with a decrease in certain types of cholesterol.
Country Ham: A Slow-Cured American Delicacy
production is a longstanding tradition in the American south. Over a
period lasting from several months to over a year, hams are air/dry
cured, and often smoked, until they reach the pinnacle of salty, sweet,
rich, and smoky flavor.
Though the methods have evolved somewhat due to modern innovations in
safety and temperature/humidity control, they are essentially the same.
The level of knowledge, artistry, and skill required to properly cure
country hams is not unlike that employed by top brew masters, vintners,
and cheese makers.
These hams have been cured, but not smoked, ensuring that the full,
rich taste of mangalitsa pork shines uninhibited. They lose as much as
35% of their initial raw weight in moisture during the curing process,
concentrating their flavor.
How Mangalitsa Hams are Cured
To produce these country
hams, the cure master first rubs each one with a dry cure mixture of
salt, sugar, and curing agents. Next the hams are moved to a walk-in
freezer at a near-freezing temperature for forty days. This stage
simulates the high humid, super cold climate of winter in the South,
when settlers originally would start to lay in their hams for the next
year. As the ham endures “winter,” moisture is drawn out and the cure
Next the hams move to “Spring” where they are hung an a
temperature/humidity controlled room that slowly reduces the ambient
humidity while increasing the temperature. Air circulation further
removes moisture while the salt previously drawn into the ham
redistributes itself, equalizing for a consistent flavor.
“Summer” is the last step, where aging lasts for several months, with
the total amount of time varying from ham to ham. In this warm
environment the hams continue to shrink and develop their most complex
and mature flavor. They are regularly tested by the curemaster, who
inserts a long stainless steel needle into each periodically, allowing
air to rush into and out of the heart of the ham. Based on the feel and
aroma of each ham, he is able to judge quality and maturity.
These mangalitsa hams are sold at only the very highest level of
quality, providing a unique balance of salt blending with the flavors of
the pork and buttery fat. They have been cured for a total of 8-10
months, with each ham being pulled by the curemaster exactly when it’s