Pastured Pork Taste Variation

Answered on September 02, 2013
Created September 02, 2013 at 1:49 AM

I've been buying pastured pork at the farmer's market for the past several weeks -- pork chops. Tonight, there was a big difference in the smell and taste -- kind of gamey. I've written to the farmer but in the interim, I'm wondering if this kind of variation is normal for pastured pork. I know sometimes grassfed beef can taste more or less gamey, but I've always thought of pork as a sweet tasting meat. The chops were frozen -- I defrosted them and cooked them stove-top in a bit of water - they were thoroughly cooked and the flesh was white. Any pork experts out there?

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on September 02, 2013
at 02:14 AM

It can taste gamy, and generally, the gamier the taste the more pastured it is. Acorn finished pigs have bright red, gamy, leaner meat (they have to go up and down hills), not far from the taste of a wild boar of course. Go for gamy, if you care about pastured - the ground meat and stew meat are better, the chops, I agree, are a bit challenging to cook.

Although I have had pork that was finished with Halloween pumpkins, very delicate, but nutritionally on a par with its wild cousin, so all these are general comments that may apply to most small producers but do not apply to individually raised pigs for private consumption.

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