Each of the five cooks in tomorrow night’s Cochon 555 competition (tickets are, apparently, still available) was given a different heritage-breed hog — the porcine equivalent of an heirloom vegetable. Lincoln Cafe‘s Matt Steigerwald, who is cooking a menu including headcheese and mortadella, reports he was given one of the rarest breeds still in existence: a mulefoot hog. Only some 200 to 300 purebred mulefoots exist.
So why eat it? Well the best way to save rare breeds of edible animals maybe to create a market for them so that farmers can make a buck if they switch away from the hybrids and crossbreeds that are long and lean (like those found in confinement operations) to the fatty, hardy breeds that do well outdoors. And taste so much better.