Lucies Farm Kobe Pork
The Berkshire Pig Breeders organisation suggests the breed originated in the Thames Valley near Wantage, around 1790. Records from the time of Cromwell's rampage across Britain speak to the impressive size-and taste-of the Berkshire. The breed started out black or red in colour, sometimes spotted, yet extremely large, with one hog clocking in at more than 1 000 kgs/2,205 lbs! Judicious introduction of Chinese and Siamese lineage gradually altered the Berkshire 'look' to wholly black with white accenting. In contrast, the meat itself is white when served.
Though it nearly went extinct when breeders favored white hogs, the Berkshire has enjoyed immense popularity. When imported to North America in the early 1800s, the Berkshire was used to improve many breeds. Where the Tamworth is slow to mature, an ideal weight Berkshire is around just 36-45 kgs/80-100 lbs. During the 1940s and '50s, the superiority of the Berkshire won it more Chicago International Truckload championships than any other breed. This record remains unequaled today.
According to breeders and livestock history, the Tamworth produces the highest quality bacon of any breed. First given official classification at the English Royal Show in 1865, by some accounts the Tamworth originated in England, while others claim Sir Robert Peel imported the breed from Ireland for his Tamworth estate around 1812. Regardless, the Tamworth is a breed that independent farmers and their customers can appreciate. Its bloodline reaches back to the native north European hog.