A brief history of Middlewhites

As the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed, four of our chatty Middlewhite pigs made the trip to Long Compton last week so we have lots of Sausages and Pork for sale!

This is the first time we have had Midlewhite Pork available and, as those who visited last Sunday can attest, this pork is really very, very good – the flavour is clean and true, the meat moist and tender, the crackling thin and crisp. From every perspective, it’s easy to see how this became the most popular pork amongst London chefs from the late 19th Century right up until the 2nd World War. So high was demand that the Pigs were commonly called London Porkers rather than Middlewhites! Even today, Fergus Henderson, perhaps London’s most famous chef, will only serve Middlewhite on his menu.

In the way of things, these porkers fell out of favour during and after the war when the Government directed pig husbandry towards the Large White Pig and Bacon production. Their decline has been precipitous such that there are now more Giant Pandas in the world than Middlewhites! Here at Worton we are determined to help reverse this decline and we are looking to build a small herd of these, cheeky, inquisitive pigs. Looking like every child’s drawing of a pig, their squashed noses, pointy ears and curly tails make them real “cartoon” pigs.

Partly inspired by their looks, partly by their taste, my interest in preserving these famous porkers is also due to the fact that they hail from the same corner of Yorkshire as my family. First described at the Keighley Agricultural Show in 1852 when Joseph Tulley exhibited his new breed: Not a Large White, not a Small White (now extinct) but too good to disqualify, the judges created a new category and this breed was born.

So lots of pork on the menu and for sale this weekend. In the shop we have Chops, Belly and Leg along with 3 types of Sausage – French Country, Tuscan Fennel and Chorizo. On the menu we have Chops, Sausages and 24hr Roast Shoulder (Sunday Only)