We always have some Gloucester Old Spot in store – it’s deep and distinctive meat is a gold standard amongst pork.
This traditional English rare breed originated in the Severn Valley in Gloucestershire. Hardy, good natured and happiest when foraging, it is known as the “orchard pig” because it was often kept in orchards feasting on windfall fruit - plentiful in a region known for its cider production. Local legend has it that the distinctive black spots of this breed were originally caused by bruises from falling apples!
GOS was the first breed of any species to be given Traditional Speciality Guaranteed status by the EU Commission in recognition of the quality of the meat these pigs provide and they are the oldest pedigree spotted pig breed in the world. The breed’s interesting history nearly ended with extinction in the 1970s when it was squeezed out of favour by faster growing varieties better suited to fast, intensive production. Fortunately, as the movement for slower and more sustainable food production has begun to gain traction with consumers and restaurants, this breed has returned from the edge of extinction and grown in popularity again. It is now celebrated and sought after worldwide.
GOS meat is succulent, flavoursome, and fine-grained thanks to it being matured more slowly than industrially raised pigs. It has a natural layer of rich, tasty fat which produces excellent crackling and good marbling through the meat which means that the meat remains tender and juicy during cooking, and making it more forgiving to cook. No dry roasts from these pigs!
In line with our commitment to sourcing the best quality produce as locally as possible, all of our GOS comes from Essex and Suffolk.