King of American Swine. | A Continuous Lean.

King of American Swine.

Mar 1st, 2013 | Categories: American Badass, Food | by Michael Williams

Carl Blake, who has bred a unique pig, the Swabian Hall

Carl Edgar Blake II is on a mission to produce the most delicious pig in the world. It’s a bit of a strange pursuit, but I can think of a lot less appetizing adventures.

I came across this story in The New York Times about Blake’s quest to re-introduce the Swabian Hall pig, an old breed of swine that produces meat with a higher fat content than the everyday pork that Americans are used to. You’re thinking: Skinny pig? How does that even make sense? Well, in the pork industries quest to produce “the other white meat,” the fat has been systematically bred out of American pork. Luckily, Carl Blake has our back. Don’t worry, no one is getting skinny. Good Americans like him won’t allow it strictly out of principle.

What really caught my attention in the story was the video which wonderfully captured Blake’s no bullshit style. Oddly, and I know he is going to get pissed at me for saying this, but Blake reminded me of America’s most heroic graphic designer Aaron Draplin. It got me thinking fondly of Draplin and his diatribe about how “America is fucked.” Imagine if we got Blake and Draplin together in one room to put down a few cold ones and eat prosciutto? That’s a reality show I would watch.

Video after the jump.

Anyway, it’s not just heritage clothing that’s on the up-and-up, the world loves old-timey pigs that were invented in the 19th century to celebrate German kings.

Mr. Blake is about as American as it gets. If you don’t believe that statement I offer you his most lucid quote from this New York Times article: “I can build a motorcycle, I can fly a model airplane, I can throw somebody out of a bar, I can wrestle a pig and I can program a computer,” he said. “I’m a strange duck, that’s for sure.”

We at ACL salute you sir.

Top photo via The New York Times.
Comments: 17

17 Comments to “King of American Swine.”

  1. Zoe Alexander
    on Mar 1st, 2013
    @ 5:16 AM

    The best of luck to Carl! I think the more sophisticated the industry gets, the less tasty the meat gets! All good things take time! Everything is too fast nowadays!
    Zoe

  2. Javier Vaquero
    on Mar 1st, 2013
    @ 12:33 PM

    Wow! great job Mr Blake, it’s not a secret that dark pig breeds are better than the white/pink breeds. One of the best pig breeds in the world, are here in Spain, the Iberico pig.

    Iberian ham is unique with its intense aroma, sublime flavor and high infiltration of silky fat which melts on the palate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhprxJP7fhs

    Congrats for the blog Michael and greetings from Spain.

  3. jordan
    on Mar 1st, 2013
    @ 5:24 PM

    Slow food wry humor, goes down nicely….

  4. Dean
    on Mar 1st, 2013
    @ 6:31 PM

    He was on Bizarre Foods Iowa this week. Check it out.

  5. Chris
    on Mar 2nd, 2013
    @ 3:34 AM

    That quote you, uh, quoted comes out like a quote from Robert A. Heinlein:

    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

  6. Tim
    on Mar 2nd, 2013
    @ 9:46 PM

    Pig thievery! Great post; I missed that article last week.

  7. Fjorder
    on Mar 4th, 2013
    @ 12:57 PM

    interesting story about a uncompromising farmer. special thanks to chris for being smarter than everyone in the room.

  8. carl blake
    on Mar 4th, 2013
    @ 5:32 PM

    Yea. ..hey i think draplin might be fun to party with. He speaks his mind.

  9. carl blake
    on Mar 4th, 2013
    @ 5:38 PM

    Interesting chris. …i never heard that but it makes more sense than what i said. Thanks for the kind words to all of you. The iberico is very good stuff. Standard by which all others are measured. Someday i hope to compete.

  10. brandon
    on Mar 4th, 2013
    @ 5:42 PM

    I see why you thought of Draplin – they both are passionate and do not settle. They both have a deep sense of duty and respect to the history of their industry while expecting excellence from themselves. Hope we can all find a little Draplin and Blake within us all.

  11. ACSG
    on Mar 4th, 2013
    @ 10:44 PM

    Both videos were pretty righteous. I’m glad to know that the craft renaissance goes into fields I don’t think of very often but consume in all the time: pork and graphics. U-S-A!

  12. David Jones
    on Mar 4th, 2013
    @ 11:49 PM

    This is exactly what I hope to find when I come to ACL. Someone hearing there own drummer, living a passionate life, trying to make life better for us all. Thank you, I hope to try your pork someday.

  13. Hans
    on Mar 6th, 2013
    @ 12:37 PM

    So that list of things makes someone ‘as American as it gets’ does it? Swabian Pig himself could probably tell you that the people in around his native homeland do them too. Are we also Americans?

  14. saddamhussein
    on Mar 9th, 2013
    @ 10:32 PM

    Aaron Draplin is the most plebian, dadcore designer in a America

  15. Thom
    on Mar 11th, 2013
    @ 8:51 AM

    Draplin/Blake in a between two ferns style show. Webisodes. Done.

  16. C
    on Mar 11th, 2013
    @ 9:45 AM

    Ew. Ew ew ew. I really wish people’s obsession with pork these days would vanish.

  17. CC
    on Mar 13th, 2013
    @ 4:41 PM

    Draplin is an overhyped charlatan. This guy seems like the real deal.