Do you ever find yourself with such a surplus of lard from Mangalitsa pigs that you actually don't know what to do with it all? Atlanta chef Ford Fry of JCT Kitchen was in this position (poor guy) and figured, why not turn all that fat into creme fillings for homemade Oreos.
"Those wooly pigs are about the ugliest-looking pigs out there, and they have so much fat. So, so much fat." Unlike other hogs that are meat-type breeds, meaning they efficiently produce lean meat, the Mangalitsa is an extreme lard-type breed. It has double (double!) the marbling of your average pork. Given its special fatty qualities, the Mangalitsa can easily be whipped like cream or cured and served in thin slices as lardo.
"People don't want to eat lardo as much as we chefs do, so we had to figure out another use for all that fat," Fry said of his Oreo inspiration. He renders the Mangalitsa fat—some have called it the best fat in the world—then whips it up with vanilla and sugar. The texture is fluffy and light, yet tastes like pork rinds. How's that for Oreo filling? The Mangalitsa fluff gets piped between two fresh-baked chocolate cookies that are stamped with a merry-looking pig imprint.
We were sitting at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival last weekend at the "Southern Chemistry" seminar with moderators Matt and Ted Lee when Fry, one of the chef panelists, explained his Mangalitsa Oreo concept. It became very clear at that moment—this needed to be part of Oreo Week.
About the author: Erin is the national managing editor of Serious Eats. You can follow her on Twitter: @erin_zimmer