What is Kurobuta Pork?

Kurobuta is recognized as uniquely delicious and high quality pork in culinary circles throughout the world. This premium pork is sourced from a specific heritage breed of hog. Known as Berkshire in England and Kurobuta in Japan, the same hog breed is used for the flavorful pork, prized in both countries.

The Beginnings of Berkshire

Berkshire hogs have been bred and raised in Berkshire County, England for over 300 years. Unlike the pink curly tailed pigs that might come to mind, Berkshire hogs have a distinctive black color. The first Berkshire hogs were sent as gifts to Japanese emperors in the 1860s. Demand for the distinctive pork grew and the name Kurobuta, which translates directly to “black hog” in Japanese, was coined.

Raising Kurobuta

Kurobuta hogs are a heritage breed that is raised for its exceptional flavor and tenderness. Commodity hogs are bred with an emphasis on commercial traits including disease resistance and the ability to grow quickly. The color, flavor and eating experience of this pork is greatly diminished.

Attention to Detail

Snake River Farms hogs are 100% purebred Kurobuta derived from the oldest Berkshire bloodlines in the United States. Our animals are humanely raised with careful attention in our network of 35+ family farms throughout the Midwest and Idaho. The herds are purposefully kept small so each animal receives individualized attention on a daily basis. Our stringent program does not use gestation stalls and our hogs are raised without the use of growth promotants.

Our hogs are slow-fed approximately 10% longer than commodity hogs for improved marbling. Their daily rations include a carefully balanced mixture of corn, soybean meal, rolled oats, and vitamins and minerals.


A Higher Level of Flavor

Kurobuta pork is the opposite of factory-farmed, commodity pork. Like American Wagyu cattle, Kurobuta hogs are genetically predisposed to a high level of intramuscular fat or marbling. Any chef will tell you fat equals flavor and Kurobuta pork delivers a robust and flavorful experience. Kurobuta pork has a deep pink color that indicates a naturally higher pH. Meat scientists have found higher pH levels are indicative of a higher moisture level which translates to a greater level of juicy flavor and tender texture.


The Kurobuta Difference

Some of the tangible characteristics that make Kurobuta pork so unique and delicious include:

Marbling – Kurobuta pork is packed with abundant fine streaks of intramuscular fat. This rich marbling imparts a depth of flavor and a tender, juicy texture.

Higher pH – Increased pH results in pork with coloration that is deep pink to red, as well as more moisture. This enhances the flavor and amount of juice in each cut of Kurobuta pork.

More Flavor – Putting aside specifications and scientific fact, the most sensory indicator of Kurobuta pork is its heightened flavor profile. Kurobuta is frequently described as rich, juicy and possessing a sweet note not found in commodity pork.

The World's Finest Pork

Snake River Farms is proud to produce 100% purebred Kurobuta pork, considered by chefs as the culinary equivalent of Wagyu beef. We start with the best genetics available in the U.S. and carefully monitor and control the maturity of our herds at every step. Snake River Farms American Kurobuta Pork has cultivated an international following for its juicy tenderness and intense flavor. We invite you to experience our delicious Kurobuta pork products to see for yourself.