Fine quality pork is always a little hard to come by. But a distillery is attempting to enhance the value of the succulent meat by adding a unique flavor. Twenty-five pigs are currently milling around in open pens on a tiny farm in Iowa. They are robust, healthy and fat, but more importantly, they are being raised to taste of rye whiskey.
Small-batch distillery Templeton Rye, in Woodward, Iowa is attempting to create a new sub-breed of pigs that it hopes will partly taste like Whiskey. The distillery is feeding them the mash that is used in making its distinctive American whiskey. The owners hope that the rich taste of the grain will slowly assimilate in the pigs and they too will start tasting a little like the regionally as well as nationally famous blend.
Templeton Rye whiskeys are quite heavy on rye, with more than 90% of it mash originating from the high-protein grain. Malted barley makes up the rest. As with all distillers, Templeton has always been concerned about the spent mash, but soon realized that it was an exceptionally great fodder for pigs, reported Yahoo.
Detailed consultation with a swine nutrition specialist revealed that the pigs diet shouldn’t contain more rye. Accordingly, 20 percent of the pig-feed contains the spent rye, which was once used to make the distinctive whiskey. The pigs clearly love the feed, revealed Scott Bush, founder and president of Templeton Rye Spirits. Why shouldn’t it, when the spent rye smells great,
“The pigs seem to like it, digging into their feed with happy grunts and snorts. It smells very good, almost like candy.”
Not to risk ruining the experiment, Templeton Rye has chosen the famous Duroc breed. This breed is world-famous for its distinctive auburn winter coat, succulence and heavy muscling. And now they are ripe for the taking, confirmed Bush, “The pigs were nearly at their ideal weight for eating: 210 pounds (95 kilos), with just a few weeks to go before heading to the slaughterhouse,” reported News 24.
Has the distillery confirmed the pigs taste like whiskey? Unfortunately, the distillery is unsure just how much mash will affect or alter the taste of the resulting pork chops, but it is confident that the meat should have a distinctive aroma of the blend. Notwithstanding the uncertainty, the mere possibility that a whiff of whiskey will arise from ham, ribs or chops has whetted the appetites of a large number of pork lovers.
Despite the steep asking price of $699 per animal, all the supposedly whiskey-flavored pigs have been pre-booked and paid for in advance. If this works, will the world soon taste multi-flavored meat?
[Image Credit | Juliette Michel, AFP]