Peads & Barnetts

a wee bit of history…

“It could be said that European civilization—and Chinese civilization too—has been founded on the pig. Easily domesticated, omnivorous household and village scavenger, clearer of scrub and undergrowth, devourer of forest acorns, yet content with a sty—and delightful when cooked or cured, from his snout to his tail. There has been prejudice against him, but those peoples—certainly not including the French—who have disliked the pig and insist that he is unclean eating, are rationalizing their own descent and past history: they were once nomads, and the one thing you can’t do with a pig is to drive him in herds over vast distances. The pig as we know him is of mixed descent. He was a lean, ridgy and rangy beast, with bristles down his back. Two thousand years ago the Gauls in France were excellent at curing pork, and Gallic hams were sent to Rome. But what made the pig of the European sty—rather than the pig of the autumn oak forests—really succulent, was crossing of the European and Chinese pigs in England round about 1760, by the great Leicestershire stock-breeder, Robert Bakewell. The Chinese porker was a small, plump and short-legged. The European pig was skinny and long-legged like a wild boar. Cobbett wrote that the cottager’s pig should be too fat to walk more than 100 yards. Spreading through Europe, this was the creature on which French cooks got to work when the revolution turned them out of their princely, aristocratic kitchens along the Loire and in the Ile de France.” - Jane Grigson, Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery

At Peads and Barnetts, 1958, Granny and Grandpa with Giles and Robert

At Peads and Barnetts, 1958, Granny and Grandpa with Giles and Robert

Peads & Barnetts is named after a very old farm outside of Oxford, England in the royal county of Berkshire, where my grandparents first got their start raising pigs in the late 1950’s. Peads is a stream on the property, and a barnett is an old English turnip that was originally grown on the farm. The area has always been good pig country, with vast woodlands blanketing the gently rolling hills and a mild, wet climate. It is where the famous Berkshire breed of pig originated, one of the oldest recognized breeds in the world and favoured for its hardiness and thriving outdoors and prized for the wonderful, richly marbled meat it produces. This is the pig that we now raise in California, putting into practice the knowledge gained from more than 60 years of farming.

Our pigs live their entire lives outdoors in a beautiful natural setting, with the emphasis placed on growing them slowly and respectfully and feeding them the best possible diet. This means absolutely no soy, corn, other GMO feed stuffs or animal byproducts, etc. All our pork is butchered fresh at the beginning of every week. We specialize not only in classic American and British butchery, but also in cuts popular to Japanese, Chinese and European cultures such as ton toro cut from the jowl and culatello cut from the back leg. We provide for top restaurants and the best local food shops, and also sell direct to customers at three weekly farmers markets in Santa Monica and Hollywood.

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