Berkshire pigs are one of the oldest identifiable breeds. These black pigs, with white “points” (white areas on their feet, snout and tail) were documented in the English “shire of Berks” more than 350 years ago and made their way to the United States in the early 1800s. In 1875, breeders formed the American Berkshire Association, making it the first breeders group and swine registry in the world.
Berkshire pork is renowned for its richness, texture, marbling, juiciness, tenderness and overall depth of flavor. It is thought by many to be the Kobe beef of pork. It is said to have a very specific taste, not generic and bland or mild like regular pork.
Berkshire pork is prized for juiciness, flavor and tenderness, is pink-hued and heavily marbled.
Berkshire Pig Breed Characteristics
Black with white points (legs, face and tail) and pink skin. Dark-colored skin reduces sunburn.
Very deep-sided with a strong, uniform arch of back and muscular, firm build. Short neck and short, blocky legs with strong feet.
Relatively short snout. Seen from the side, the face has a slight dish-shape with a large jowl and an upturned nose. Ears are medium-sized and erect.
Excellent disposition. Friendly and curious.
Good mothering ability with high milk production. Hardy, performs well in outdoor operations.
Half a Hog
Shoulder: Both steaks and roasts (3lb average roasts)
Ribs: 2 Packs of Spare ribs
Bacon: weighing 8-10lb (1lb packages)
Ham: weighing 20lb, Both smoked hams and steaks
Loin: cut 3/4″ thick (24 chops)
Trim: ground into seasoned sausage or brats