Dear Chef: Finding Berkshire Pork Retail in South Florida

100% Berkshire pork is the star of crispy sweet & spicy pork belly, here getting ready for its close-up at the cookbook photo shoot in January.

Where can I find Berkshire pork locally without having to place an order online?

– Carla L.

Great question Carla.  You can get pork from heritage breeds like Berkshire here in Miami, but if you walked into a store today, you’re not going find it.

Let’s quickly back up for some context as to why… Heritage means old breeds that have become rare thanks to industrial hog farming. Heritage hog farmers have small, often family-run operations so it’s no wonder you might have difficultly finding it at your neighborhood grocer.

At the restaurant, we like using heritage pork for a few reasons, and it comes from a few different sources.  First of all, we like supporting these farmers because, sure, they are trying to save these breeds and the pigs lead a happier, healthier life. But mainly, the meat is more flavorful!! Factory-farmed pigs have been bred to produce very lean meat. More fat equals more flavor.

Our distributor Jesus Perez at Halperns’ helps us get the amazing Fudge Family Farms‘ heritage pork, from the one and only Henry Fudge.  His hogs are mostly  Duroc and about a quarter Berkshire.  The product is very special.  30 hogs are harvested each week, and  Jesus says only a handful of restaurants around the country get the various cuts. We use racks and butts, and list Fudge Farms on the menu.

Fudge Farms pork chop with local collard greens, house smoked bacon & papaya chutney (photo: chef Jessica Evans, culinary arts instructor at Tampa's Riverview High School)

We get whole, free range and natural Hereford pigs from a local outfit that we love to work with, Palmetto Creek Farms (Avon Park, Florida.)  This is great stuff and we use all parts of the animal for our house made pork items like head cheese, stocks, pate, chorizo,  etc.  The 100% Berkshire black hog (Korabuta) is from Berkridge, and we’re using it for items like the crispy sweet & spicy pork belly, crispy pig ears, and house smoked bacon.

So to answer your question finally, Jesus says you can call any of the following retailers, request Berkshire pork, and they can get it in stock for you (from Berkridge): Norman Brothers Produce (Miami/(305) 274-9363,) Smitty’s Old Fashioned Butcher Shop (Fort Lauderdale/(954) 771-9341), or Delaware Chicken Farm (Hollywood/(954) 983-6831.)

– Michael Schwartz and Bradley Herron, with Jackie Sayet

3 thoughts on “Dear Chef: Finding Berkshire Pork Retail in South Florida

  1. Pingback: Visiting Joyce Foods & Palmetto Creek Farms | the genuine kitchen

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