The saying goes "Eat Them or Lose Them." This is exactly the philosophy of Larry and Madonna Sorrel as they raise their Red Wattle Hogs. This couple in the Heart of America raise "heritage" breed animals ignored by many big farms. These squeeling piglets are just one of the desired breeds being sought after by eastern seaboard chefs for the food lovers who are developing a taste for heritage animals.
The Red Wattle pig is a breed thought to have been imported from New Caledonia in the 1700's and was practically extinct until a wild herd surfaced in Texas. The Red Wattles are named for their ruddy hair and folds of neck skin (their wattle) that hangs on each side of their jowls.
Heritage animals refers to lines of farm animals unchanged by genetic modification. The pigs are raised in a "humane" way. They aren't raised in confinement or given growth hormones or stimulants.
Sorell's have about 100 head of the Wattle Pigs. Lazy S Farm ships pigs to a locker north of Kansas City, Missouri about once a month for slaughter and processing.
Recently joining in partnership with the Sorells are Josh and Kelly Wendland and son Jacob. Their goal is to preserve the breed. The Red Wattle's are listed on the endangered list of Animal Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
The meat is marbled, dark textured and succulant and can be found on the menus of Lidia's in Kansas City, Lupa Osteria Romana in New York City and other upscale restaurants in the USA.
The highlight of providing this quality product was the farm tour of seven chefs from New York City.