Do you love dogs, sheep, and pigs (not necessarily in that order)? Well, get ready for this: the Mangalitsa is a Hungarian breed of pig that looks like a sheep and acts like a dog!
Mangalitsas are all pig, except wooly like sheep. Breeder Wilhelm Kohl also claims these cuties can be pets, telling Modern Farmer, “If you treat them nicely, they’ll become as tame as dogs — they’ll follow you, play with you.”
The pigs are an Austro-Hungarian breed from the 19th century and were prominent until 1950. After the spread of refrigeration and higher demand for imported food, the breed fell out of favor. By 1991, less than 200 remained in Hungary. But heirloom livestock breeding is now a popular hobby, and the numbers of Mangalitsas has swelled to 7,000, with Hungary producing 60,000 piglets a year. The pigs can also be found in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and the United States.
Breeders love them because the pigs love to roam and forage. They have few veterinarian needs and they are…delicious.
Alas, they have a rich, buttery taste and go wholesale for up to $12 per pound. Expect to pay five to seven times that in fancy restaurants like French Laundry in Yountville, CA.
But, you guys, these piggies are also like dogs and so cute.
And even though they look like they are wearing curly sweaters, they are comfortable living anywhere. So if you have a sizable backyard, chain yourself to a desk at the next city council meeting and demand your right to own one. You probably won’t regret it.