Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The Sheep Pig

Spending a bit of time wandering around Budapest and looking at restaurant menus, certain things become clear. They're quite proud (rightly so) of a good Goulas, they like their hot peppers and paprika, and as far as they're concerned there is only one true pig and that is the Mangaliza, a little bit of research tells me (thank you google translate) that roughly trasnslates as Sheep-Pig which readers of a certain age (I'm told there is a film, but I stubbornly refuse to have my youthful imagination defiled by Disney) will fondly recall as a book by the estimable Dick King-Smith.
I'm told that they were regarded as the main variety of pig in Hungary from the time of their first breeding, some 200 years ago, until the arrival of collectivist farming practices which meant that British cross breeds were imported as they produced more flesh and less fat. However with the collapse of the Communist regime people started to breed them again (It's amazing how many good things about Hungary were reborn 20yrs ago..), and now they are quite common.
They grow a thick layer of subcutaneous fat which, rather like blubber, helps to keep them warm during the tough central eastern European winters, meaning that they can survive the whole year outside, perfect for small holders in times gone by.
Apparently they're very docile, and can become accustomed to human contact quite easily. On a far less serious note they look very cute.
So we have one more task on the list, track down some Mangalizas.....

No comments: