Red Wattle

Local Farm: Circle B Ranch in Seymour, Missouri

Heritage pork from breeds like Red Wattle – developed in 18th-century New Orleans by way of the French-occupied South Pacific – is usually compared to steak rather than lean pork chops. “[The breed] has never been put into factory farming; their instincts have never been bred out,” says Marina Backes, co-owner of Circle B Ranch in Seymour, Missouri. “They’re out rooting for food and in the dirt.” Thought to be extinct by the 1970s, experts estimate there are fewer than 1,000 Red Wattle hogs in the U.S. today, with 50 of those raised on pasture at Circle B. Charcuterie makers particularly prize juicy, hearty and well-marbled Red Wattle for salame thanks to its strong flavor. (Photo by Jennifer Silverberg)

Circle B products are sold at Cherry Picker Package x Fare, Mama Jean’s Natural Market, Hy-Vee and Harter House in Springfield, Missouri, and Local Harvest Grocery, Mac’s Local Buys and Larder & Cupboard in the St. Louis area.