Mangalitsa pigs, sometimes erroneously called Wooly Pigs*, are substantially more fat-prone than common breeds of pigs. They produce meat that is substantially more marbled, red, juicy and flavorful than other pigs. Mangalitsa fat is light and creamy compared to regular pig fat. In the USA and Europe, many pigs marketed as Mangalitsa are crossbreeds, with typically 75%% or greater Mangalitsa admixture. In Hungary, pigs must be at least 50%% Mangalitsa to be marketed as "mangalica". Mangalitsa is very popular with high-end restaurants. In New York, several Michelin-starred restaurants regularly serve Mangalitsa pork, including Per Se, Corton, Aureole and Le Cirque. Due to their metabolism, Mangalitsa pigs are classified as "extreme lard-type" pigs. No other pigs fatten as easily. Regular pigs are called "meat-type", because they efficiently produce lean meat. The breed comes from Hungary, where its name is spelled "mangalica". In Europe, most of them are kept in Hungary and the Balkans. In the USA, most of them are kept in the Midwest. In Europe, substitutes for Mangalitsa include Swabian-Hall and Iberico pork. * The main producer of Mangalitsa pork in the USA is a company called Heath Putnam Farms (originally "Wooly Pigs").


Other names: Mangalica Mangalitza
Translations: マンガリッツァ, Porc laineux, Mangaliţa, Wollschwein, Mangalica, Мангалица, Mangala

Physical Description

Mangalitsa pigs are short, medium-sized and very fat. They have curly bristles. There are 3 breeds, the Blonde Mangalitsa, Red Mangalitsa and Swallow-belly Mangalitsa. Those are separate breeds. The Blonde Mangalitsa is the most fat-prone. The Swallow-belly is the least fat-prone.

Colors: Mangalitsa crossbreeds come in all colors. Purebreds are blonde, red or black and brown

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Rich, Creamy, Buttery
Mouthfeel: Soft, Unctuous
Food complements: Onions, Garlic, Mushrooms, Wild rice
Wine complements: Cabernet sauvignon, Pinot noir, Cotes rhone
Beverage complements: Beer
Substitutes: Iberico pork

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Pork for curing should be from pigs at least 9 months old, finished at least two months on a diet low in polyunsaturated fat.
Buying: It is extremely hard to find Mangalitsa pork. Wooly Pigs, also known as Mosefund Mangalitsa, is the USA's main producer of Mangalitsa pork. Contact Mosefund at to find sources for Mangalitsa pork and products.
Procuring: Mangalitsa pork is produced all over the USA by a network of small farmers. Most Mangalitsa pigs are bred and fattened in the Midwest, by Mosewood. Many Mangalitsa producers finish Mangalitsa pigs on special low-polyunsaturated fat diets. The goal is to ensure that the pig's fat is low in polyunsaturated acids, which are particularly rancid-prone. Pigs intended for making cured products are typically at least 9 months old. Some go to slaughter as old as 18 or 24 months. One meat processor, Swiss Meat and Sausage company, in Swiss, Missouri, specializes in slaughtering, cutting and processing Mangalitsa pigs and pork with European methods. Among other things, Swiss can produce cuts like the Spanish "paleta" and Austrian "Schopf" - cuts that other processors don't produce.

Preparation and Use

Mangalitsa pork is particularly suited to cured applications. E.g. Mangalitsa ham, bacon, speck, prosciutto, jamon, pancetta and guanciale are the best produced in the USA.


Hungarian cuisine is based on Mangalitsa pigs.

History: The Mangalitsa was created in 1833. With the clearing of the swamps and production of surplus corn, Hungarians began to fatten pigs on large farms. The "mangalica" was Hungary's first industrially farmed pig breed. The Industrial Revolution created demand for cured pork products, particularly fatty ones. Hungarians used Mangalitsa pigs to meet that demand.



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