Any type of meat is fantastic on its own (…if its cooked correctly), but different marinades and spices definitely have a way of kicking things up a notch. We’ve been a big fan lately of those marinades with whiskey-flavoring, but sometimes we just don’t have the time or patience to let those flavors sink in before we cook the meat and stuff our faces. That is why we were intrigued by a project we heard about recently – The Templeton Rye Heritage Pork Project – that is figuring out a way to breed pigs so they taste like whiskey.
Templeton, Iowa was home to some major rye whiskey production during Prohibition. The rye whiskey, known as “The Good Stuff,” even found its way to Al Capone and Templeton ended up supplying him and his gang with hundreds of kegs every month. “The Good Stuff” continued to be made for a while after Prohibition, but it soon faded away into obscurity. In 2001, a Templeton resident set out to re-establish Templeton Rye Whiskey and brought it back to the level of badassery it had once achieved over 60 years earlier.
Now, the guys at Templeton Rye Whiskey are taking on a project that they say has stemmed from their close association to agriculture and livestock over there in Iowa. They say that as more people want as much information possible about the food they are eating, they thought it would be interesting to bring to market a selection of heritage breed pigs that have been fed a diet using Templeton Rye mash.
The 25 purebred Duroc pigs were born in January and they’re being raised on a farm in Woodward, Iowa. Duroc pigs are known for their meat quality and they are being supervised by Dr. Nick Berry, who holds a Ph.D. in Animal Science and works in the swine industry. The target weight for each pig is 210 pounds, which is an ideal weight from a quality and flavor basis. The pigs are expected to be processed and made available to the public in June or July of this year.
We love the idea and would we pay a pretty penny to taste this meat, but we’re not completely sold on the fact that it’s going to have any kind of whiskey flavoring. Of course, we know nothing about the science behind this and it’s just our personal opinion (this may seem surprising, but we’ve been known to be wrong.)