Mangalica pork is consumed in bigger quantities abroad than in Hungary, with 70% of the meat exported to other countries in America and Asia, and especially Japan, according to the Hungarian National Association of Mangalica Breeders.
In Japan, Mangalica is usually found in upscale restaurants. The high fat content of the breed is why it is so prized abroad, though that is less true in Hungary.
The association says that while only 30% of the meat produced remains in Hungary, it is trying to increase the popularity of Mangalica here, show casing the versatility of the product. This fall, for example, it will try to promote meat consumption through food trucks.
“Mangalicaʼs ratio of meat to fat is the direct opposite of [other] pigs: it is 30% lean meat and 70% fat," says Attila Veégh, partner responsible for communications at the association.
"We Hungarians, though we love cooking bacon or eating bread with grease, still donʼt like fatty meats so much. Meanwhile, only the most expensive, high-end restaurants around the world put Mangalica at the forefront, while Spaniards buy it for premium ham."
The breed makes up only 2% of pig livestock in Hungary, with approximately 200 breeders involved. Most intend to export their product; the meat that remains in Hungary usually gets processed into products such as sausages, salami, and bacon.
The association says that its campaigns and activities have resulted in a number of high-end restaurants in Budapest becoming keen to use the product. Now the outreach will be to street food.
"The Food Truck Show this fall is about Hungarian-style food, especially Mangalica dishes," Veégh adds.
"We have a dual aim with this: we want to convince both the trucks and the people that Mangalica meat does not only hold its own at the most expensive restaurants, but as a street food as well. At the event we provide the meat to chefs for free, hoping that they will use Mangalica more keenly for their dishes after the event."