• • • The pig breed for which Hungarians organise festivals: the famous Mangalica
Mangalica pigs grow a thick, woolly coat similar to that of a sheep. The only other pig breed noted for having a similarly long coat was the already extinct Lincolnshire Curly-coated pig of England. The Mangalica (also Mangalitsa or Mangalitza) is a Hungarian breed of domestic pig. In fact, it was developed in the mid-19th century by crossbreeding Hungarian breeds from Szalonta and Bakony with the European wild boar and the Serbian Šumadija breed. Mangalica adapted quickly to the climate and the environment of Hungary.
- Nowadays, there are approximately 7,000 Mangalica sows in Hungary producing 60,000 piglets a year. It has been under national protection since 1973. The National Association of the Mangalica Breeders (MOE) was created again in the early 1990s doing the practical work of breeding. Today, it is not endangered; instead, it is internationally successful. For example, its meat is the source of the famous Spanish jamón serrano.
There was a Mangalica festival in Budapest, on Szabadság Square 9-10 February. The festival was free for every visitor. Attendees meeted the breeders and producers from all over the country directly, which means that, in most cases, they could buy the goods from the people who actually produce it – and by leaving out the commercial chains, it benefits both the buyer and the seller. The customers were guaranteed got no fake goods as all products of the festivals are from stocks checked by MOE.