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Berkshire (Kurobuta) Pork: There is a difference!

Updated: Mar 3, 2021

You have probably noticed the terms Berkshire or Kurobuta quite a bit recently, in regards to pork. We have noticed the evolution and growth, in popularity, for this pedigree & cut which is not surprising given the quality.

What Is It and Why The Hype?

The Japanese name, Kurobuta, means “black pig.” Many of you have probably heard of Wagyu beef, which also hails from Japan. Well, Kurobuta is the Wagyu of the pork industry. In Japan, every Berkshire pig is raised in or around the Kagoshima prefecture.

Many chefs claim that Japanese Kurobuta pork is regarded as the most flavorful due to their diet and free-range habitat. In the United States, this pork comes from Berkshire breeds raised by credible and authentic farms.

The Legend of Berkshire Pork

While wintering in the Shire of Berk in the 1640s, Oliver Cromwell’s English soldiers were introduced to the taste of a unique black pig with white spots on its legs, ears, and snout. When the soldiers returned home, they spread the story of its remarkable flavor and quality. In the 1800s, Berkshire hogs were given to the Emperor of Japan as a gesture of goodwill. They were so well received that Japan has had a culinary love affair with Berkshire pork to this day.

With their noble pedigree, it was only a matter of time before Berkshires were imported into the U.S. During the 1940s and 1950s, Berkshires won more championships than any other breed before or since. When the National Pork Producers Council evaluated the traits of all breeds, the Berkshire distinguished itself above all the rest by coming out on top in six of seven categories for meat quality and three of four categories for eating quality. Berkshire hogs are often referred to as Kurobuta pork and is preferred by top chefs throughout the world.

The Standards Make The Difference

We pride ourselves on quality and service, which we expect the same from our partners & suppliers. Berkridge Farms, our Berkshire Pork producer, embodies all of the great principals that we value. To be recognized as a Berkshire producer, you must meet precise standards and practices for genetics, health, feed, care and comfort.

This family run farm in northern Iowa has over 20 years experience with Berkshire hogs & is recognized as a premier pork producer in America for Berkshires.

Berkridge Farms never substitutes quantity for quality and they never take short cuts. All of their pork is all natural, minimally processed and contains no steroids, hormones, animal by products or additives. One of the reasons raising Berkshires is more costly than the mass-produced pork is because of the methods they use when raising these hogs. They allow them to grow slower and naturally-without the use of steroids or hormones. Smaller litters mean healthier hogs, and even though that also means lower yields, they just won't comprise on quality. They truly are a family after our own hearts!

Note: You can now shop our online Meat Dept. to place an order for either Curbside Pickup or Delivery!

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1 Comment

Jacob Vance
Jacob Vance
Jul 13, 2023

They don't use steroids for growth anywhere in the country, not approved for pork and the studies show it wouldn't help as their systems are loaded naturally. You have smaller litters because they are Berkshires, not because you choose to, though I doubt you want 14 on sow, not the mothers ALs are. Very misleading, you should be fined for that crap

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