Free range Berkshire Hogs from our pork farm in Saskatchewan.
Berkshire pigs, also known as Kurobuta, are a rare breed of pig originating from the English County of Berkshire that are breed that are breed and raised in several parts of the world, including England, Japan, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
The Japanese designation of the breed, Kuurobuta, has become like Kobe beef, a preferred branding of a premium grade of pork that has increased the breed's popularity in the 21st century and caused the heritage breed's meat products to command a premium price.
Berkshire hogs are an average to large breed, with an average weight at maturity of 600 lb (270 kg). They are a short legged breed. They have prick ears and a relativity short snout with an upturned nose.
The original Berkshire hog was a reddish or sandy-brown, sometimes with spots. In the 1700's breeders made improvements by cross breeding the Berkshire with a Chinese and Siamese pig and introduced into British agriculture. This is when the breed took on the distinctively black color, with white on the feet, nose, and tail.
More important then the coloration, breeders were pleased with the improved meat quality. Berkshire pork, prized for juiciness, flavor, and tenderness, is pink hued and heavily marbled. It's high fat content makes it suitable for long cooking and high-temperature cooking. Increased ph. makes the meat darker, firmer, and more flavorful. High ph. is a greater determinant than fat content in the meat's overall flavor characteristics.
The Japanese's have bred the Kurobuta branch of the Berkshire breed for increased finesse in the meat and better marbling. Pig's fat stores many of the characteristics of the food that they eat. Berkshire hogs are usually free-ranging, often supplementing with a diet of corn, nuts, clover, apples, or milk.
Numerous tastes conclude that Berkshire pork is predisposed to producing the finest quality pork due to it's shorter muscle fibers and lots of marbling, which contributes to both he flavor and tenderness. They also say that the reason why Berkshire hog meat is so juicy and tender is the lack if stress on the animal. Stress causes the meat to be dry and tough. Berkshire hogs raised at Quill Creek Farms are raised in a low-stress environment, meaning that they are usually allowed to roam where they want and have plenty of shade to keep them cool.