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Protein CSA pick up July 31, 2013

The last CSA pick up for July!!  Hard to comprehend that it's almost August!  But while it's still July and bbq season, we thought we should put some Tamworth pork steak in the shares.  Tamworth is a heritage variety of pig.  Tams are long, lean, and a medium brown colour.  Their meat is rich and dark, more fatty than the common standard white hog, and less fatty than the popular berkshire hogs.

Years ago, each region had its own specific breed of pig adapted to suit the climate, food availability and other particular needs of the people who raised them.  Pigs who were left on their own to forage for acorns in the forest had to have better mothering skills than pigs kept in a barn near the house who were fed the household scraps.  Modern intensive farming has brought down the commercial breeds of hogs to just a handful.   The commercially raised pigs are raised to have lean, pale meat, bread to give birth to large litters of piglets and gain weight quickly.  Not much attention has been paid to whether the breed produces good mothers, or if their meat is tasty.  Thus the Tamworth!

Our farmer who raises Tamworth keeps his hogs outside.  The sows (mommma pigs) are NEVER kept in farrowing crates, or the more industry friendly term 'gestation stalls'   They have open metal roof shelters with deep straw bedding where they make nests in the winter.  And they have mud pits and a shady forest to keep cool in the summer.  Contrary to popular belief, pigs are thought to be as intelligent as dogs, and are the cleanest of the barnyard animals.  Pigs make certain to never relieve themselves near where their food source is, keeping their toilet area contained.  Cows, goats, and sheep poo or pee where they stand making the upkeep of their living areas a constant chore for producers.   It's always puzzled me why so many cultures think of pigs as 'unclean' animals, as they have the most sanitary habits of all of the animals that we consume.

Full share

Tamworth pork steak (freely ranged, no growth hormones, no antibiotics, no animal by products in the feed)

Chicken Legs (freely Run, no antibiotics or animal by products in the feed)

Beef or Bison Sausage (grass fed, freely ranged, no antibiotics)

Bison Nitrate free, Gluten free Pepperoni!

Half Share

Tamworth pork steak (freely ranged, no growth hormones, no antibiotics, no animal by products in the feed)

Chicken Legs (freely Run, no antibiotics or animal by products in the feed)

Beef or Bison Sausage (grass fed, freely ranged, no antibiotics)

It's sour cherry season so the lovely Sylvia from Banville and Jones has made a wine recommendation for the tamworth steak and a sour cherry sauce!

- If the cherries make their appearance in a sauce for the Tamworth pork steak:  try a new style Beaujolais, with lots of fruit and smooth tannins, such as the Jean-Marc Burgaud "Les Vignes Thulon" at $19.99.  And if you prefer white, because the summer is still beautiful, try one of Italy's most celebrated white wine producers with the Terlan Gewurtztraminer at $23.99 ("Gewurtz" rhymes with "flirts").  The Terlan Gewurtz has beautiful aromatics, and enough weight to stand up to the meat and the cherries!