Belgian pig producers not only focus on the high-quality production of two or three types of meat, they also opt for specialised quality in a wide range. That’s how the Belgian meat suppliers make the difference.
Two trends that currently determine the course set are the revival of classic products and the importance of pure ingredients. The consumer has had enough of boring uniformity and is once again roundly opting for tradition and real flavours. And that is the strength of the Belgian companies in a nutshell.
Pig breeds: a tradition of real flavours
The attention given to old pig breeds is telling. They offer a response to the demand for a different type of meat. Full of flavour, marbled with fat and with additional focus on the animals’ feed.
Apart from the famous Belgian Landrace, these four breeds of pig also offer insight in the unique Belgian landscape of flavours.
A typical red coat and hanging ears are the most distinctive features of the Duroc pig. This breed descends from the Red Durocs of New York and Jersey Reds of New Jersey and it is known for:
- growing fast;
- a broad ham & shoulders and
- a peaceful nature.
The ‘Duroc d’Olives’ pigs are a crossbreed of Duroc with York and Landrace. The name d’Olives refers to their typical diet:
- pure cereals;
- supplemented with olive oil as a source of fat.
You do not taste the oil, but it does make the meat more tender and more flavoursome.
According to Filip Van Laere and Bart Mouton, who rear these pigs, Duroc d’Olives allows the consumer to once again enjoy a tender, flavoursome, healthy piece of pork.Duroc d'Olives
Meat that is more tender and juicier, with a unique, refined flavour. Or you could say, the ‘Bras pig as it used to be’. That’s what Kristof Verschelde and Angelique Dobbels are striving for with their Brasvar. In addition to focussing on exquisite flavour, Brasvar is also a top-quality pig. Consider:
- a strict hygiene protocol;
- a selfinspection system and
- Certus certification,
- supplemented by an animalfriendly and environmentally responsible rearing method.
The Brasvar is a crossbreed of a York and a Duroc; the Duroc genes ensuring that the meat is nicely marbled with fat, giving it its full flavour.
The Brasvar’s menu is an authentic recipe, prepared in a modern feed kitchen. Amongst other things, the pigs are fed:
- steamed potatoes;
- homegrown corn and
The company has already won several awards with this innovative breed.Brasvar
Duke of Berkshire
The pioneer of this group. The Berkshire is an authentic old English breed of pig, rediscovered by a Dutch breeder. Stefaan Lambrecht of the company Danis crossbred the breed and thus put The Duke of Berkshire on the culinary map of Europe.
The very special characteristics of the Berkshire breed, the narrower and finer muscle fibres combined with select feed lead to excellent, tender meat with a mild flavour. The pigs are reared in a closed circuit and are fed vegetarian multigrain feed.
Belgian top chefs were immediately convinced of the breed’s strengths. In 2012, The Duke of Berkshire was even voted the best pork in the TV programme ‘Smaak’ [Flavour] on the Flemish public channel.Duke of Berkshire
With their woolly coat they look a bit like sheep. This old breed of pig takes you back in time. The eye-catching layer of fat gives them full-bodied flavour. Carl and Tesse Adriansens rear their Mangalica pigs with respect for the animals and the environment. For example, they are given the freedom to go outside and take mud baths in the fresh air.
They are given feed whose composition is based on the natural food of pigs:
- sunflower seeds,
- peas and
- the necessary structure, as the pigs would also find in nature when rooting.
This breed has a maximum of six piglets per litter and they grow slowly. They are slaughtered about eight months later than the traditional breeds. Mangalica is a strong breed that is reared outside.Mangalica