Kagoshima Kurobuta pork has traditionally had a market value on par with that of beef.
The taste of Kagoshima Kurobuta has been praised as a work of art,
leaving scores of epicureans sighing with delight.
Four secrets to delicious traditional flavors
- Fine muscle fibers.
：Fine muscle fibers create meat that is tender and delicate, never chewy.
- Packed with mouthwatering flavor components.
：The sweetness and mouthwatering umami flavors in Kagoshima Kurobuta pork are decidedly rich, with no off-odors.
- Never watery.
：Kagoshima Kurobuta has a tight, concentrated texture that tastes rich and never watered-down.
- Delicious marbling.
：The fat in Kurobuta pork melts at a higher-than-average temperature, giving it a light, clean flavor.
One of the most distinctive characteristics of this pork is that the meat and marbled areas have the same consistency and rich umami flavors.
Kagoshima Kurobuta pork is truly a cut above the rest.
Steeped in history, passion, and rich flavor.Kagoshima Kurobuta pork is truly a cut above the rest.Kagoshima Kurobuta has a unique history.
The history of pork and Kagoshima have long been intertwined.Since Japan’s Warring States period, the soldiers of Satsuma brought pigs with them to the battlefield as food to give them energy.
The history of pig breeding stretches back some 400 years, and is thought to have begun when the Shimazu clan, who ruled the Satsuma at the time, brought pigs back with them from the Ryukyu Islands.
Toward the end of the Edo period, it is said that Tokugawa Nariaki (a prominent figure in diplomacy issues of the time), found Kagoshima pork “exceptionally delicate and exquisite in flavor, with a richness and superior energizing quality.”
Prominent samurai Saigo Takamori is known to have loved pork-based local dishes, joining the ranks of many great historical figures that have fallen in love with the taste of Kagoshima pork.
Kurobuta pork from Kagoshima is known as being particularly exceptional because of this distinctive history.
The pursuit of superior flavor continues to this day
Today’s Kurobuta pork got its start during the Meiji era, when premium quality English Berkshire pigs were bred with Kagoshima’s native pork varieties.
The breed caught on throughout Japan during the late 1950s and early 1960s, but because of the time and effort needed to raise the pigs–as well as the fact that litters tended to be small–there were times when the Kurobuta was threatened with extinction.Being at the forefront of Kurobuta production, Kagoshima pushed ahead with numerous innovations over the years. This research work, which reached world-class proportions, was done primarily at the prefecture’s Livestock Research Center.This research continues on to this day, thanks to the passion and hard work of local Kagoshima residents and their love for Kurobuta pork.
Following the completion of the Satsuma pig family in 1982, the center created a Berkshire-based New Satsuma variety as well as a Satsuma 2001 based only on original Kagoshima Kurobuta.
These three lines were subsequently bred with conventional Kurobuta pigs to bring out the best qualities of Kurobuta pork, resulting in a more delicious product year after year.
Only select pork varieties can bear the name Kagoshima Kurobuta
Kurobuta pork from Kagoshima must be held to extremely rigorous standards before it can officially be labeled with the Kagoshima Kurobuta brand name.
In order to bear the name Kagoshima Kurobuta, pork must be of Berkshire variety produced, fattened, and shipped from designated brand production areas within Kagoshima Prefecture by members of the Kagoshima Kurobuta Producer Conference. With few exceptions, the meat must also be processed at a facility within the prefecture.
Satsuma sweet potatoes must be part of the pigs’ feed mixture, with detailed regulations stipulating mixture amounts, number of feeding days, age at shipment, and more.
Pork that meets these exacting standards is then certified as Kagoshima Kurobuta pork, and given a certificate indicating the name of the producer, shipment date, and certification number.