Why this little piggy won’t make cheese…
Following our little April Fool, we began to wonder (and a few of you asked us…) why there isn’t any pig cheese on the market. We are all used to a plethora of different farmyard animals dairy products being available – with one notable exception that goes oink.
Pigs do in fact lactate (that is, they produce milk) and one could assume that said milk would taste great, because it is made of 8.5% fat in relation to the fat that makes up 3.5% of the components in cows milk. (In cheese making, fat = good) Other elements such as the lactose and water are nearly the same percentages in pig’s milk as cow’s. However, pigs will on average produce 13 lbs of milk in a day as compared to cows that produce a whopping 65 lbs of milk every day. Also, pigs unlike cows cannot become pregnant while they’re producing milk, creating short milking seasons rather than the ability to milk all year round.
There’s another issue with regards to taste though. Cow’s milk invariably tastes best when the cattle have been grazing on luscious grass. In fact, some cheeses are only made at certain times of the year because the flavour of the feed (I.e. grass) being consumed radically enhances and affects the tones of the cheese. Cows, sheep, goats and the like tend to be herbivores. Pigs on the other hand are omnivores. Meaning they really aren’t fussy what they eat. There’s a reason pigs are associated with greed! Whilst we’ve never tried it, we don’t think any milk made from slop eaters would be all that appetising…
However, the biggest challenge facing anyone considering a porcine dairy would be collecting the product. Namely – milking time. Pigs on average have fourteen teats, whereas cows have four. Pigs also differ from cows in their milk ejection time. Literally. Maybe calves are slower eaters than piglets, as a cow can last for up to 10 minutes, where as a sow lasts a mere 15 seconds.
So, there you go. As much as we would love to stock a rosy pink, porcine cheese, it doesn’t look like it will be around any time soon. For now we will just have to stick to enjoying the bacon. Oooh and the sausages. Or maybe a pork pie. * begins to salivate *
If you can prove us wrong and you are in fact a piggy cheese maker, please get in touch – you’ll make our day!
P.S We don’t know if pig cheese would be pink, we just thought it would be eye catching. However, so many of our customers loved the idea of a bright pink cheese (though not a hoggy one) colour may be food for thought for any budding cheese makers out there!