On the day we photographed Trou Normand (the new offering from Thad Vogler and the folks who brought you Bar Agricole) we happened to be there for the weekly hog butchering. We learned that what we were watching so expertly carved were not just ordinary pigs. They were Hungarian Mangalitsa Hogs from Csarda Haz Farms in Davis, CA.
Chef Sal Cracco explained that the Mangalitsas were famous for their flavor. Trou Normand uses them for their famous (and delicious) charcuterie. Their homemade salamis and prosciuttos are memorable and unique, not just because they use the locally raised Mangalitsas but because of how those Mangalitsas are raised.
Gar House, his son George and Annie Carollo hand-raise these animals on local, organic wheat, and whey trucked in from Cowgirl Creamery. These hogs grow up beneath the shade of a walnut grove and dine on succulent grasses. They are healthy, happy animals with thick coats of stiff hair that give them an almost prehistoric appearance.