Eggleston’s Ossabaw pork, both pure and cross-bred with other heritage species of pork, tastes like the wild pastures it comes from. The pigs forage for themselves on the Virginia farm, eating anything that tastes good, and run freely in open spaces, getting good muscle tone. (They’re finished on either milk and whey or acorns.) Boqueria chef Seamus Mullen calls it “the best pork I’ve ever eaten,” and other very discerning meat men, among them Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony, Savoy’s Peter Hoffman, and Fiamma’s Fabio Trabocchi, all swear by the stuff. “Our pigs are really special,” Eggleston says. “The chefs in New York know it, and I’m going need to ramp up our operation to keep up with all the calls I’m getting.” Meanwhile, since the Ossabaw pigs are genetic cousins to the Iberico pigs of Spain, an American version of the wildly fetishized jamon Iberico should be coming out of Eggleston’s piggy paradise soon. For our part, having eaten the Ossabaw fresh, we could live without the ham entirely. Still, we’d be glad to see Spain lose its pork primacy. We consider ourselves patriots, after all.
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