Butchering a 500-Lb Mangalica Pig at Garces Trading Company, in Photos

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Pigs. Who would have thought they would become the sexy glamourpuss of the food world? From bacon to pork belly to lardo, pig parts have maintained their status as the meat of the moment. The next big thing in pork — in Philly at least, they’ve been big in New York for quite a while — may be the Mangalica (a.k.a Mangalitsa) breed of porker.

Last week, I went to Garces Trading Company to hang out with chef Adam DeLosso and his crew while they broke down two halves of a 500-pound Mangalica. Here’s what I learned:

Mangalica’s are Hungarian (by way of New Jersey), hairy (or woolly, if you must), and huge (they are raised to be up to 500lbs). And hugely expensive! A heritage pig — like a Tamworth — may cost a restaurant $2.50 per pound wholesale. DeLosso paid $6.50 per pound for this Mangalica (that’s $3,250 for the whole thing).

Here is a handy analogy: Mangalica is to regular pork as Kobe is to regular beef — more marbling and mo’ money.

DeLosso is using the pig for many different things: sausages, salamis, ribs, Jamon Iberico, double-cut pork chops, bacon, rilletes, guanciale. You name it, he’s doing it. And in June, he plans on bringing in another Mangalica and giving a class on how you too can do magical things with it, so stay tuned for more info.

Check out the slideshow of DeLosso breaking down the Mangalica for for more details and to find out what they’re going to do with all of that pork. Warning: this is neither for the squeamish nor for PETA members.