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What Makes Berkshire Ham & Pork So Good?

Posted October 17, 2012

Berkshire hogs, prized around the world for their tender, juicy meat, have achieved near-legendary status. American chefs demand the meat for their high end restaurants. Japanese consumers prize it so highly that they gave it a special name – kurobuta, or black hog – and willingly pay premium prices for it. Why is Berkshire pork and ham so delicious?

Some say it started back in the 1600s, when Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers spread tales of the wonderful pork they ate when they were stationed in England’s shire of Berks. Others say the breed originated about 20 miles northwest and 100 years later in Sussex. Most agree, however, the hogs from this arew were uncommonly tasty, and that Lord Barrington improved the breed in the 1800s by introducing East Asian blood. Berkshire hogs became a favorite of the English upper class, including the British royal family; for generations the royals kept a herd of pure Berkshires on their Windsor Castle estate, and Queen Victoria was well known as a Berkshire breeder.

Berkshires were first brought to the U.S. around 1825, but were quickly absorbed into the general hog population because they created such dramatic improvements when they were crossed with common stock. The American Berskshire Association was formed in 1875 to establish a way of keeping the breed pure. Since then, breeders have continued their focus on raising Berkshires to enhance the outstanding quality of the breed – and supply superior products that are exceptionally flavorful and a favorite in the U.S. and around the world.

Ham has always been a centerpiece of holiday celebrations. Recently it has become very popular as part of many families’ Thanksgiving celebrations. Thinking about adding a ham to your Thanksgiving table? Now that you know why Berkshire meats are so special, please consider our 100% Berkshire, naturally cured, spiral cut ham for your next holiday feast. You have to taste our ham to believe it – it has a distinctive, rich, buttery taste with unparalleled juiciness, tenderness and depth of flavor. We work in partnership with a co-op of small, family-owned Iowa farms to provide our customers the finest of meats.

Our Berkshire hams cost a little more than what you’ll find at the discount club or your local grocery store – but isn’t your family worth it? We prepare each ham to perfection, spiral slice it, top it with a sweet honey glaze, wrap it in foil and deliver it to your door. All you have to do is warm it up, serve it and wait for the compliments.