• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

hog meat flavor

 
Tokunbo Popoola
Posts: 202
Location: Sacramento, CA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
how long does it take for dietary changes to change the taste of the meat?

right now we have 4 pigs growing out. But they are growing out on black soldier flies, duck weed, azolla, scrap veggie, whey and milk solids (from ghee). how much can a good finishing diet change the flavor of the meat and what ratios would be good to pull this off. how late can you do it in the game?
 
Luke Groce
Posts: 49
Location: Louisville, KY
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The things I've read are that a pigs flavor is most dramatically affected by the feeds given towards the end of its life, especially the structure and flavor of fats. I've only done this one season, but the pigs we finished on acorns and hickories had a much nuttier and sweeter taste than their siblings who didn't have the benefit of this extra month or two on the forest floor.

My questions would be:

What do you propose to include in the finishing diet that you aren't including now, and what do plan to leave out? And why?
 
Rose Konold
Posts: 11
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The science says 3 weeks. Beyond any other livestock: pigs are what they eat! Aromatics and fats will affect flavor the most.
 
Tokunbo Popoola
Posts: 202
Location: Sacramento, CA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rose Konold wrote:The science says 3 weeks. Beyond any other livestock: pigs are what they eat! Aromatics and fats will affect flavor the most.


so the fattening time for flavor is 3 weeks. ok i'll start in on their nuts and apples around that time. thank you
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
42
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Scientific studies on this say as little as two weeks. My own research (double blind taste testing across four breeds and thousands of pigs) says about a mont. This is the time for the flavor to start to change. At three months I find the flavor change is completed and does not progress further.

Flavor is stored in the fat. This is part of why marbling is important. Fat development is controlled by age, calories, season (cold) and breed.

Feed for flavor.

-Walter
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Pie
Posts: 1820
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
121
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Walter Jeffries wrote:Scientific studies on this say as little as two weeks. My own research (double blind taste testing across four breeds and thousands of pigs) says about a mont. This is the time for the flavor to start to change. At three months I find the flavor change is completed and does not progress further.

Flavor is stored in the fat. This is part of why marbling is important. Fat development is controlled by age, calories, season (cold) and breed.

Feed for flavor.

-Walter


I totally agree with Walter on the three months time period.
If you do research on the Iberico Ham you will find two things; 1) the breed of pig is of prime importance, so much so that the pig has to be 75% pure cerdo Iberico breed in order to qualify and
2) Pigs destined for bellota-grade meat are lucky enough to spend their final months (the fattening period known as the montanera) in the dehesa freely foraging for acorns and grasses.
This information is from http://ibericoham.com/iberian-pigs.html

When you look up the montanera period it is a three month long (1/4 year) period beginning at the end of August, this coincides with the time of year that Spanish Oaks drop their acorns.

Here is a little more information that shows just how important these finishing months are.
Jamon Iberico de Bellota
They are fed a diet consisting almost exclusively of acorns (bellota) and the grass of the dehesa countryside (a special, centuries old oak forest), where they roam free until reaching optimum weight.
Bellota ham is set apart by its high levels of mono-unsaturated fat which gives the ham a unique nutty flavor and heart-healthy characteristics.

In order to ensure that each pig has an ample supply of acorns, they are usually kept to a very low density in the fields, usually over 1 acre per pig.

Jamon Iberico de Cebo de Campo
Pigs with this classification are fed a diet of cereals, acorns and grasses.
They roam freely in the dehesa fields.

Jamon Iberico de Cebo
Pigs with this classification are fed a diet of cereals, acorns and grasses.
They are farmed in a barnyard, which is the principal difference to the "campo" or countryside pigs.

The Spanish and Portuguese take their hogs and Hams very seriously and it is reflected in the prices of the finished hams (from $500.00 to $1000.00 for a single ham)

On Buzzards Roost we have plenty of Acorns and Hickory nuts with which to finish our "table bound" Guinea Hogs.
But I still have to get those paddocks fenced in.
Fortunately we have a whole year before we would begin to need the "finishing" areas.


 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
42
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bryant RedHawk wrote:If you do research on the Iberico Ham you will find two things; 1) the breed of pig is of prime importance, so much so that the pig has to be 75% pure cerdo Iberico breed in order to qualify


That criteria of breeding isn't about flavor but about brand recognition and protection. They have a local product and industry they wish to protect. Makes perfect sense. Nothing wrong with that. There exist other breeds can produce the same meat, quality and flavor on the same diet and production method. There are some differences between breeds such as Berkshire and Large Black tend towards more marbling but this issue with the Iberico is not about that, it's about protecting their local industry.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Pie
Posts: 1820
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
121
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's true Walter but the flavor is more from the way they finish the hogs. I only put up the information for reference.
They do however go with your idea that three months finishing is what is needed for a full flavor profile change. That was actually my point.

Our Guinea Hogs have a more red meat that is well marbled and has a different flavor profile from other hogs or pigs.
Every breed with have an inherent flavor that is at least somewhat different from all other breeds.

I've been researching hogs for over a year while we were in the process of deciding which breed to focus on for Buzzard's Roost.
As far as brand protection of the Spanish hams, that has been done by the government of Spain.
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
42
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bryant RedHawk wrote:That's true Walter but the flavor is more from the way they finish the hogs. I only put up the information for reference.
They do however go with your idea that three months finishing is what is needed for a full flavor profile change. That was actually my point.


We may be saying the same thing.

Flavor is in the fat.
Feed produces the flavor.
=
How they are being finished is dictated by their environment and feed which produces the flavor.

Bryant RedHawk wrote:Our Guinea Hogs have a more red meat


That is where I think you're getting into slippery territory on your claims.

I have a lot of different breeds and have raised additional breeds.
I have seen the meat from many more breeds.
I have experimented with various feeding regimes.

The redness of the meat has far less to do with genetics than people think.

Bryant RedHawk wrote:Every breed with have an inherent flavor that is at least somewhat different from all other breeds.


Based on the above scientific research I've done with many breeds and thousands of double blind taste tests and experience I find that:

Feed produces flavor. It is not the genetics of the animal within the species that is producing the flavor but rather the diet.

To test this you must raise the multiple breeds on the same diet on the same farm of the same sex and do double blind taste testing.
Then you must vary the diet and again do double blind taste testing.
I've done this. It shows that feed produces flavor, not breed.
Terroir also comes under the domain of feed since that is part of what pigs eat, part of their diet.
Climate, diet, age, sex, exercise also affect things like marbling, back fat, meat texture, coloration, etc.
Breed controls other factors such as texture, marbling, body conformation, coloration, ear shape, etc.
There is also the line within the breed and that matters to for many factors.
But breed does not account for flavor. Use feed to manipulate flavor and that is what they're doing in Spain.

Breed is good for a lot of factors such as how well a pig will do in a particular climate (winter hardy) but feed produces flavor.

The Iberian protectionism rules are about protecting their local producers - they're not really about flavor. They claim they're about flavor because that is how one makes such arguments to the general population as a justification. This is a practice being done by many governments and associations to protect their local industries. Be it wrong or right is an entirely different discussion having more to do with politics and economics than actual flavor!

-Walter
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Pie
Posts: 1820
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
121
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you Walter, I consider you to be the expert, I am just learning all I can from the best sources I can find. This is a lot of great information for me to use in our startup program.

The meat color thing came from the AGHA. I am certain your experience is worth more, in fact priceless.

On the inherent flavor thing; Then I will have to go with your findings, the science is solid and repeatable.
I am, after all a beginner and bound to have some misconceptions, which is why I value your input.

-Redhawk
 
Do not set lab on fire. Or this tiny ad:
Got Permaculture games? Yes! 66 cards, infinite possibilities::
www.FoodForestCardGame
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic