A Kurobuta (Berkshire) pig
What Makes Kurobuta Pork So Special (And Pricey)
Kurobuta pigs, also known as Berkshire pigs, are a highly prized heritage breed which produce flavorful, succulent meat. It’s the pork equivalent of Japanese Wagyu or Kobe beef.
The pork’s high marbling gives it its juiciness and a buttery sweet flavor. Marbling also aids in even cooking at high temperatures, resulting in tender meat with a smooth texture.
Kurobuta breeders raise their pigs using uncommon practices such as feeding their animals a healthy diet and allowing them to mature naturally, free from hormones or steroids.
Free-roaming, outdoor habitats, small herds, and hands-on care result in healthier pigs. However, these practices are labor and time intensive, which means higher production costs.
For these reasons, Kurobuta pork is unlike conventionally farmed meat, and this is reflected in its price. You can find it at select supermarkets, specialty butchers, and online.