October 29, 2014
Pig chef James Golding says that pork from pigs turned out by New Forest commoners to roam freely in the forest is proving a real hit with guests.
The pigs’ free roaming lifestyle and diet of acorns, in the ancient New Forest tradition of pannage, is producing meat to rival any in the world! In 2013 over 300 pigs were turned out playing a crucial role in the New Forest by eating acorns that are poisonous to ponies and cattle.
THE PIG in Brockenhurst is an active member of the New Forest Marque, a quality assurance scheme supported by the New Forest National Park Authority that promotes authentic New Forest fare of the highest quality.
James Golding said: ‘I believe the superior flavour of pannage pork is due to a combination of its acorn-rich diet and the free roaming life of the pigs. I always say that a happy pig is a tasty pig!
‘We have seen that customers ‘in the know’ actively search out eateries in the area that are serving pannage pork. It’s a bit like every seasonal food; it’s not around all year and should be enjoyed when it’s available and at its best.
‘Using pannage pork at The Pig shows our passion for local produce. With the help of the New Forest Marque we now source 80 per cent of our produce from within a 25 mile radius.’
A few facts...
A practising commoner is someone who makes use of common rights attached to their property.
The right to turn out pigs during the autumn to feed is called ‘pannage’ or ‘mast’.
The 2014 pannage season runs from 20 September to 23 November.