WINFIELD UPDATE –
A visit from Wilhelm Kohl, author of “The Mangalitsa Pig: Royalty is Coming to America”
Bruce introduces Wilhelm Kohl and Barbara Meyer zu Altenschildesche to Winfield Farm Mangalitsas
Wilhelm photographs Bruce with his Mangalitsa wooly pigs
Barbara meets young boar Lunker and his two ‘sows’
Bruce demonstrates how young boar Lunker likes to have his belly scratched
Bruce poses with Barbara as Lunker and his “sows” to be look on
Bruce poses with Lunker and his mates
Lunker lays down so Bruce can scratch his belly
Bruce feeds bananas to Mangas in the field
The power of social media to connect the world is amazing! Wilhelm Kohl co-authored “The Mangalitsa Pig: Royalty is Coming to America”, to document the history of these amazing Hungarian wooly pigs and share recipes from Hungarian chefs.
Wilhelm discovered the Winfield Farm website Mangalitsa page and subscribed to our e-letter, then responded to our Christmas greeting. Trading emails and phone calls back and forth, we learned that he is partner in a Mangalitsa farm in Michigan raising red and blonde Mangalitsa wooly pigs, is writing a sequel featuring American Mangalitsa farms and recipes from American chefs, and – the amazing part – he asked to visit us for the purpose of including Winfield Farm and Bruce in his new book!
Wilhelm arrived at the farm on February 18, accompanied by his photographer, Barbara Meyer zu Altenschildesche, a Royal red Mangalitsa farmer in the Netherlands who also runs a confinement breeding operation, raising Manga piglets for export, some to the United States.
Barbara and Wilhelm showed up at feeding time, and spent the afternoon in the field, photographing our swallow-belly Mangalitsas. Barbara made friends with our 450-pound foundation boar Augustus (Gus), “speaking” to him and scratching his belly (albeit through the fence of his paddock).
Following the introduction to our porcine menagerie, we gave Barbara and Wilhelm the proverbial cooks tour of restaurants in the Santa Ynez Valley who have purchased Winfield Mangalitsa pork.
Barbara and Wilhelm compliment Chef Seth Nelson at Root 246 restaurant
The large meat plate at Industrial Eats features Winfield Mangalitsa lomo (lots of silky fat!)
Bruce and curing master Brett Stephens look on as Barbara photographs Industrial Eats’ curing room
Barbara poses with Chef Pink and Courtney at Bacon and Brine in Solvang
Full of Life Flatbread’s amazing Levain Bread with avocado and Mangalitsa Lardo
Full of Life Flatbread’s Wild Boar and Mangalitsa ‘Scotch’ Egg and Puntarell, Fennel salad with Mangalitsa speck
Wilhelm and Barbara pose with Flatbread’s Clark Staub after a spectacular feast fit for Royalty
Clark’s entree’ – an oven roasted loin roast (mouthwateringly good!)
A Root 246 pork delicacy
On Wednesday evening we visited Root 246 Restaurant in Solvang for a special dining experience. Root 246 bills itself as offering the ultimate in farm-to-table cuisine. Chef Seth Nelson exceeded expectations with an elegant entrée, Winfield Farm bone-in Mangalitsa loin chops, brined in whey crafted from house-made ricotta cheese, which also adorned the plate.
On Thursday Barbara photographed our newest addition to the farm, 17 six-week old Manga piglets – so adorable with their wooly coats still colored with racing stripes. (The stripes fade when the pigs mature.) Then we were off to lunch at Industrial Eats in Buellton, a bustling European-style restaurant featuring two custom “beehive” pizza ovens and its own charcuterie case. Owners Jeff and Janet Olsson, who also operate New West Catering and have been great customers of Winfield Farm produce, bought our first Mangalitsa – in fact Jeff has purchased several over the last year. His interest in charcuterie –– he makes yummy prosciutto, melt-in-your-mouth lomo (which we devoured as it was served on their large meat plate) and other cured delicacies from our pigs –– is a big reason why we settled on raising Mangalitsa pigs in the first place. (Mangalitsa, a heritage lard breed originating in Hungary, is renown worldwide for charcuterie… and a natural fit for us after visiting Hungary four times and falling in love with the country.)
After lunch we visited Chef Pink and Courtney Rae DeLongpré at Bacon & Brine – a relatively new and very popular lunch spot in Solvang that features ONLY local sustainable produce — and Winfield Mangalitsa pork when available.
Barbara posted a series of photos of our visit to Chef Pink on her Mangalitsa Breed Facebook page afterward, commenting “Facebook is amazing. .. without it we never would have met.”
Our culinary tour concluded Thursday evening at Full of Life Flatbread in Los Alamos, where owner/chef Clark Staub served us a five-course Mangalitsa feast truly fit for Royalty! First came home-made levain bread with avocado and Mangalitsa lardo, garnished with rose-pickled Winfield Farm “Gen Red” onions, grown from seed stock that Bruce created himself. Then we dove into a wild boar and Mangalitsa “Scotch” egg, and shaved puntarell, fennel and radish salad bedecked with Mangalitsa speck. A signature Flatbread ‘pizza’ featured house-made shamen’s bread with rosemary lardo.
The entreé was oven-roasted bone-in Mangalitsa loin roast on a bed of charred blood orange, with fennel and paprika, served with broccolini, fingerling potatoes and wild nettles. To top off the meal Euro style, we finished with little gem lettuce salad with cherry tomatoes, sheep’s milk cheese and Mangalitsa ‘croutons’. All in all, a truly amazing!!! dining experience crowning a visit that we won’t forget!
Wilhelm and Barbara departed early on Friday morning and we will continue to stay in touch. In fact, Wilhelm suggested that I write Bruce’s profile for his new book – he called it a great story… from covered wagon days (Bruce’s family crossed the prairie in the mid 1800s to settle in CA), to sea urchin diving to Mangalitsa farming. As Bruce says, he’s moving up in the world!
Postscript: Now that we have some 80 Mangalitsas to raise for market, we have begun our own social media campaign. Please check out our new Mangalitsa webpage and News Blog, as well as our Winfield Farm Facebook page (www.facebook.com/WinfieldFarmBuellton)
Also FYI: We now have USDA certified, frozen cryovac-packaged Mangalitsa rib chops, a few Boston butt and Tri-Tip roasts (2 lb pkg), smoked ham (2 lb pkg) and bacon (1 lb pkg), as well as trotters and smoked ham hocks. Characteristic of this heritage breed, we also have lots of leaf fat! Please visit our Mangalitsa Market online to order.
We will be going to market again in April. Please sing out now to reserve your Mangalitsa pig (or custom cuts).
All the best,
Bruce and Diane
Photo credits: DB Pleschner | Barbara Meyer zu Altenschildesche — Visit the gallery for full size and additional photos taken during this visit.