Turopoljska Svinja, Turopolje-Schwein
The Turopolje Pig was named after the area it originates from, located in central Croatia, south of Zagreb. This breed was presumably imported to this region in 1352 by the king of Hungary and Croatia, Louis the Great. These pigs descended from the Sisak breed, now extinct, the result of cross-breeding the wild pigs of Central Europe with the black English ones of Berkshire, introduced by Empress Maria Theresa of Hapsburg. However, some academics argue that the Turopolje pig also comes from crossbreeding with other breeds.
The Croatian population of this pig began falling in 1960, when a preference for breeds that produced leaner meat began. The war in Yugoslavia further worsened the situation, bringing the Turopolje nearly to extinction. Some surviving heads were transferred to Austria, where they were raised with some difficulty. Currently, the breed’s situation is not stable yet, and both Croatian and Austrian producers are fighting to preserve it and ensure its continuity.
This pig—which is extremely rare and has a unique appearance with black spots of different sizes on white or grey skin—grows fairly slowly: indeed, it takes two years for it to reach maturity.
The animals are of medium size, with a sturdy head and broad forehead, short and strong legs, large and drooping ears. This breed is known for its hardiness in outdoor rearing conditions: in fact, it lives a long time, is tough and adapts very well, even to harsher climate conditions; it also requires a low quantity of grains to feed on and can reach 250 kg.
The Turopolje breed is traditionally used in lard production, highly appreciated especially in Austria, whereas in Croatia its meat is particularly used in the production of salami.