2018 Foodies of the Year: Malorie Aube
This trailblazer is on a mission to change the way we understand pork.
The Trailblazer: Malorie Aube
Farmer & Owner, Country Accent Heritage Breeds, Bawlf, Alberta
When Malorie Aubé imported her firrst pair of breeding Mangalitsa pigs five years ago from Hungary, she set about to change the way we under- stand, eat and prepare pork. “Too often I hear peo- ple complaining that pork is too fatty and they can’t digest it,” says French-Canadian-born Aubé, the owner of Country Accent Farm in Bawlf, Alberta. “But Mangalitsas have a genetic predisposition to produce a higher grade of fat, one that is loaded with vitamin D, balanced, flavourful and healthier for you.” It’s worth noting that people were clamouring to buy this fat by the pail at a recent Hungarian festival. Mangalitsas, also known as the woolly pig due to their dense curly fur, originate from the Austro- Hungarian empire and were almost extinct in the 1990s. Thanks to her breeding program, Aubé now has more than 300 Mangalitsas and sells them across the country, with regular demand from Alberta restaurants like the Guild in Calgary and the Fairmont Banff Springs.
Renowned for its dark red marbled meat and buttery lard—yes, you can cut it with a fork—the meat-to-lard ratio varies with the type of Mangalitsa, sex and season, thereby lending itself to a variety of preparations. “We use the fat to make pie crust, puff pastry, pesto, confits, and it is our secret ingredient for frying the most amazing doughnuts and French fries,” says Aubé. “Then of course there are chops, sausages, the best charcuterie, and we also make soap and moisturizer from it.” Aubé lives off the grid (they generate their own electricity, get milk from their own cows, honey from their own bees), so the fatty Mangalitsas were the last part of the equation. Aube’s passion for pork has also allowed chefs to showcase the heritage breed, coming up with new dishes that push the culinary envelope. Shokunin’s chef Darren MacLean makes a Mangalitsa bacon cured in miso ramen, while the Banff Springs created an o al and house sausage haggis as well as popcorn served with smoked Cholula pig skin. “It takes a lot of education to change people’s palettes,” says the busy pork producer, “but people need to realize they have a choice when they choose pork and we have one of the best options.” And did we mention they deliver?