Let’s Talk Food: The Duroc pig breed

  • Photo courtesy Audrey Wilson Duroc pork steak from White Guava Cafe.

What is a Duroc breed of pig anyway? It has:

• A long, clean face

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• Drooping ears

• A long, clean neck

• Big, even toes

• Wide, based from front to rear

• Square, expressively muscled top

• Seven prominent, functional teats on each side that are well spaced

• Long side with good rib shape

• Durably constructed frame

• Long, deep muscular through all portions of the ham

• Hind legs that set down square with a flexible hock

In 1823, a red boar from a litter of 10, whose parents were probably imported from England, was obtained by Isaac Frink of Milton in Saratoga County, New York, from Harry Frink. He owned a famous trotting stallion named Duroc so Isaac Frink named his red boar in honor of the horse. The boar was known for his smoothness and carcass quality.

The Duroc strain has a red color, quick growth and maturity, deep body, broad ham and shoulder, and quiet disposition.

The American Duroc-Jersey Association was established in 1883 and in 1934, all the groups united to form one organization, the United Duroc Swine Registry for the sole purpose of recording and promoting the Duroc breed.

At the 1893 Chicago’s World’s Fair, Durocs gained wide popularity at the first Duroc Hog Show.

The Duroc breed is popular for breeders in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Nebraska for its prolificness and longevity in the female line, lean gain efficiency, carcass yield, and product quality as a terminal sire. The purebred Duroc is distinguished for breed potency.

While most breeds have 5 to 10 babies, the Duroc can have 10 to 15 piglets.

They are also popular because Duroc pigs can regularly top 1,000 pounds, which makes them great for their meat.

Duroc pork is 100% antibiotic- and hormone-free. This variety of pig is fast growing and probably does not have the ractopamine that is given to many other varieties of pigs to promote leanness and make them grow faster. The Duroc pork is naturally lean and is known for its durability, growth, leanness, feed efficiency and muscle qualities. Here is an excerpt of my December 2020 article about ractopamine:

Ractopamine:

Two months ago, Taiwan lifted their ban of pork and beef from the USA. This has caused protests in Taiwan over this action. Ractopamine is concentrated in the gastrointestinal system of animals and the Chinese love dishes made with pig offal.

As of 2014, ractopamine has been been banned in 160 countries, including the European Union and mainland China, while 27 countries, including Japan, South Korea, Canada, Mexico New Zealand and the United States, still use ractopamine as an animal feed additive to promote leanness in the flesh and increase food conversion efficiency. Swine reactions to ractopamine include hyperactivity, trembling, broken limbs or stiff and sore limbs and increased heat stress. It is also a factor in the development of downer pigs, or animals that are unable to move or stand.

My son Dean and I are very sensitive to the additives in food and therefore are always looking for products that have none. He is willing to pay more for a product that does not contain added growth hormones or antibiotics. Duroc pork is very tasty, with red, lean flesh. So as long as we can get a supply of Duroc pork, it is what we will serve to make our “Bork” burger at the White Guava Cafe.

Foodie bites

Hawaii Community College’s Culinary Program’s Cafeteria and Da Ohana Corner Cafe is open from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. For take-out orders call 934-2559 for the cafeteria and 934-2591 for the cafe during business hours. Please provide your name, phone number, and pick-up time when you place your order.

Observe the one-way signs in the cafeteria and cafe. Face masks are required.

Da Ohana Corner Cafe has breakfast selections, salads, burgers, bentos and musubi while the cafeteria offers hot plate lunches which include rice, vegetables, a fresh baked bread roll and soup. Half orders come with 1/2 rice, 1/2 vegetables and 1/2 entrees. Menus do change but last Tuesday there was Hamburger steak with gravy and New England Chowder for soup, and on Thursday, there was Korean Fried Chicken and Eggplant Parmesan, all for under $10.

Support the culinary students so they can get the experience.

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UPSTAIRS, a new collaborative restaurant concept and sake bar opened its doors at 280 Beachwalk in Waikiki on Oct. 1. I take my hat off to any new restaurant that bravely opens during these pandemic times. One item that caught my eye was their Hachibei’s Oyakodon made of jidori chicken, OK Farms TKG eggs, white onion, green onion and dashi served over rice, priced at $15.

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“Jidori” means “chicken of the earth” and is raised free range, humanely, on small farms in California. They are fed all natural grains, without meat by-products, hormones or steroids. It is touted as “The Kobe beef of poultry.”

Email Audrey Wilson at audreywilson808@gmail.com.