The Gloucestershire Old Spots is a historic pig breed known for its distinctive white coat with black spots. The breed was developed in the Berkley Vale of Gloucestershire, England, during the 1800s. Its exact origins are not known, though it was likely based on two breeds – the original Gloucestershire pig which was large, off-white, had wattles and was without spots, and second, the unimproved Berkshire. Both of the old breeds used to develop the Old Spots are now extinct. Gloucestershire (pronounced Glostersheer) pigs were selected as excellent foragers and grazers. The pigs are thrifty, able to make a living from pasture and agricultural by products, such as whey from cheese making, windfall apples in orchards, and the residue from pressing cider. These easy keeping qualities gave Gloucestershire Old Spots the nicknames “cottage pig” and “orchard pig.” British folklore claims the large black spots are bruises caused by the apples falling onto them as they foraged the orchard floors for food.The GOS tends to carry a greater depth of fat than your modern industrial meat machines, and where there is fat, there is flavour to savour. Its disposition and self sufficiency should make it attractive for farmers raising pasture pigs. A big part of the difference lies in the fat. Modern pigs have hardly any fat whether as visible backfat or as marbling within the muscle. The GOS does have a distinct layer of backfat and marbling within the meat. That layer of backfat means that it is hardy enough for outdoor production but it also means that when the meat is cooking, it is being basted in its own fat making the meat succulent and full of flavour. All our Hogs are raised not only in pastures but in the Woods. In fact we need to move them in the fall because they will gorge themselves on acorns and this has an adverse effect on the taste of the meat. From Birth to Harvest no antibiotics, GMO Feed, or any modern industrial farming practices are used around our animals. They lay around in the trees building that extra layer of fat that produce outstanding quality of meat in texture and taste. The Gloucester Old Spot is the antithesis of the principles of modern industrial farming. The British Pig Association website describes it as “a large meaty animal with a broad and deep body and large hams”. Such poetry. That’s why it was once the bacon pig of choice. The GOS tends to carry a greater depth of fat than your modern industrial meat machines, and where there is fat, there is flavour to savour.