Food Fight: Berkshire Pork vs. Kurobuta Pork

Let’s clear up the confusion about Kurobuta pork and Berkshire pork. Kurobuta – which means “black pig” in Japanese – is better known as Berkshire pork in the English-speaking world.

So is there a difference between Kurobuta and Berkshire pork? Nope. The juicy pork comes from the same type of pig; an old English breed, distinctively black, with white feet and snout. Berkshire.jpg

Brought to Japan in the 19th century, the Berkshire breed hog was a hit, and farmers began to raise it, developing methods to maximize its natural characteristics. In Japan the hogs are bred and raised according to specific regimens, and certified by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food as “Kurobuta.”

In the United States, the American Berkshire Association has used a registry system since 1875 to certify genetic purity, pedigree history and DNA testing, which ensures the breed remains unadulterated.

There is no Kurobuta registration for Berkshire hogs raised in America, so if you find pork being sold under the label “Kurobuta” here, it’s just good old Berkshire pork.

What’s the Big Fuss About Berkshire Pork?

The pork from Berkshire hogs is redder than conventional pork, sweeter, and laced with intramuscular fat. Modern lean hogs have been bred to have very little fat, which is why pork is more akin to chicken these days. But Berkshire pork is tender and succulent with a distinctive porky flavor. It’s pork the way it’s supposed to be.

Once you try Berkshire pork, you will have a hard time going back to that “other white meat.”


Our Berkshire Pork

Our Berkshire hogs are happy hogs, raised by a cooperative of small farms in Missouri at the foot of the Ozark Mountains. This group of family farmers raises Berkshire and cross-breeds (referred to as simply “heritage”) on pasture, with access to individual houses, water and supplemental grain feed.

Families of pigs are left together, to forage and frolic outdoors in pasture land. The cooperative is strict about banning the use of antibiotics and hormones on each farm, and about limiting the number of hogs each farm raises. They seek to add another farmer to the cooperative before they add more pigs to any one farm. Their priority is to create humane conditions for the hogs.

D'Artagnan Heritage Breed Hogs

Interested in trying Berkshire pork? Click through to our website to see what cuts are available, and start planning  your next pork meal. Get inspired with our pork recipes, and find out why so many chefs prefer our Berkshire pork.

Simple Roasted Berkshire Pork Rib Rack

2 Comments Add yours

  1. anhloan says:

    i am looking for bershire ossobuco but do not see it on your pork menu. do you carry it. also do you sell berkshire pork neck bones ? ism trying make a pork stock and having the most difficult time find mentioned items online

    1. D'Artagnan says:

      So sorry … we do not carry the items you are looking for online. Your request is an interesting one and will be forwarded to the right department at D’Artagnan to see if we could offer osso buco on our website.

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