Let’s talk good meat. No, let’s talk good pork. The kind of pork that just melts in your mouth and makes you wish you had another stomach because you just want to keep eating more even though there’s no room left. That kind of pork doesn’t come around often. That, my friends, is Berkshire pork.
What Is Berkshire Pork?
If you haven’t tried Berkshire pork you’re in for a treat. It’s the finest quality pork on the market. But how it gets that way is no accident. Berkshire hogs are a rare heritage breed. Due to their shorter muscle fibers and intense marbling, which contribute to optimal flavor and tenderness, study after study has found that Berkshire pigs produce the absolute best quality meat. But making sure the meat meets our high-quality standards takes some special raising requirements. Let’s follow these pampered porkers from “field to fork” to see just what goes into creating pork of this legendary quality.
Where Does McGonigle’s Berkshire Pork Come From?
McGonigle’s gets our Berkshire Pork from Paradise Locker Meats in Trimble, Mo. Louis Fantasma, Paradise Locker Meats owner, gets his Berkshire hogs from local farmers who raise the hogs on pastures with no antibiotics or growth hormones. The hogs come from several farms in Plattsburg, MO, Edgerton, MO and Effingham, KS. Where other meat processing centers strictly focus on GAP requirements, (GAP is The Global Animal Partnership, a five-level animal-welfare program used by Whole Foods and other retailers), Paradise focuses on quality which is what sets it apart. “For us, it’s a lot different – we need the farmers to raise awesome pork. We’re true believers that the better the animals are taken care of, the better the meat is.”
Why Isn’t Berkshire Pork Found in More Stores?
The Berkshire breed are not normally found in the commodity market because of the extra care in handling, breeding, and feeding that is required to produce this higher quality pork. “We focus on long-term relationships with local farmers,” Louis Fantasma says, “This allows them to plan their breeding and their production knowing we’ll be there to purchase the hogs. Plus, that way, we know when they tell us their hogs are raised outdoors, without antibiotics or hormones, we know they really are.”
About Paradise Locker Meats
Paradise Locker Meats is a USDA inspected facility that processes hogs, cattle, sheep and goats. They partner with local farmers to raise these animals to produce the highest quality meats. There has been a rise in awareness in recent years that has created a resurgence of customers who want to know where their products are coming from. Take the organic movement for instance. Consumers are more aware of what they want and willing to pay a premium for better quality. The Fantasmas believe this trend of going back to the basics and wanting better products is going to be around for years to come and they’ll be ready to provide it. For the Fantasmas, butchery is an art that respects the connection between humans and the animals they eat. They believe in giving these animals the best food and the best care right up to the time of slaughter.
You’ll Find Paradise Pork in the Best Restaurants
Pork from Paradise Locker Meats can be found in some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the nation. Kansas City’s iconic Savoy, as well as Momofuku and Del Posto in New York City proudly serve it. And some of the region’s most well-known chefs, including Justus Drugstore’s Jonathan Justus, Novel’s Ryan Brazeal, The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange’s Howard Hanna, Corvino Supper Club’s Michael Corvino, all prefer Paradise cuts for their menus.
McGonigle’s Is the Only Grocery Store That Carries Berkshire Pork
Many barbeque competition customers, home cooks, and chefs all across the country buy their Berkshire pork from Paradise Locker Meats. But according to Louis Fantasma, “McGonigle’s is the first and only retail grocery store that carries our pork.” That’s because McGonigle’s is just as picky about the quality of their meat as Paradise Locker Meats. It’s a match made in heaven.
If you’re looking for the highest quality pork, or meat of any kind, you’ll find it at McGonigle’s Market. Our way may not be the easiest. We may have to seek out local partners like Paradise Locker Meats, but when your reputation is built on quality, you simply do what it takes to provide it. If it must be quality meat…it must be McGonigle’s.