What are my special features?
The Berkshire has a short but deep body and is is mostly black with white trotters and white markings on the face. The breed is hardy and compatible with outdoor rearing. The pigs produce good pink coloured pork which has good marbling, a fine texture and sweet juicy flavour.
What is my history?
The breed has its origins in the Thames valley around the late 16th Century. The history of the Berkshire is linked to Cromwell and his troops whose references to the breed are some of the earliest on record. The breed was also a favourite with the Royal Family during the 19th Century. Early breed ancestors were larger than today’s Berkshires and efforts to produce longer Berkshire Pigs still continue.
Why am I forgotten?
Although traditionally very popular, the breed suffered a decline after the Second World War due to a demand for leaner meat and a general rejection of coloured breeds. Berkshire pigs require careful butchering to remove black hairs and natural blemishes which consumers often view as undesirable.
Don’t lose me…cook me!