Hog Highlights: A Discussion with Farmer Andy
1. Trash is Tasty: The pigs are fed a diet of the whey leftover from the cheese-making process. The pigs take care of waste disposal in this process and in doing so, turn themselves into some of the richest, sweetest pork. Every day we pump whey out of the creamery, fresh and steaming hot. As the pigs hear the tractor, they start squealiing with delight and running circles. Whey contains most of the lactose, or sugar, in milk, and since it's been cooked and these sugars have been caramelized, it tastes something like tea made from butterscotch candy.
2. Historical Hams: The process that is used at Uplands takes after the famous hams of Parma, Italy where pigs were raised on the whey from the famous cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano. Unfortunately, this process is no longer widely used because it is not easy to replicate on a large scale.
3. Sizable Swine: Pigs from Uplands are considerably bigger than a standard 240 pound market hog and can weigh up to 400 pounds due to their diet of about 6 gallons of whey per day!
4. Bartolotta Babes: Uplands only raises between 30 and 40 pigs per year and we sell between eight and ten of these to your restaurants every year. We feel very lucky to work closely with the chefs at the Bartolotta restaurants, who recognized the uniqueness of the pork and are able to take the time and care to work directly with us, a farm, instead of simply ordering pork chops off the back of a truck, as most restaurants do.