Origin: Europe, Asia
Etymology: Old English bar, from Germanic. From the Suidae family, like the pig.
Female: wild sow
The boar is a proud animal of haughty bearing that doesn’t like being treated like a pig! In pagan times, it was sacrificed to the gods; later, in medieval and renaissance days, a spit-roasted boar was the centerpiece of medieval English Christmas feasts. Its head was presented on the table with great fanfare and was celebrated in the Boar’s Head Carol, still sung today.
Its large triangular head and its stocky body make this wild pig an imposing presence. The male can weigh 150 to 160 kg, while the sow weighs around 100 kg. The boar has a long snout and two little filiform ears, unlike the pig which has big turned-down ears. Its tail, 25 to 30 cm long, hangs down.
It is in Horace’s writings that we find the earliest culinary praise of the boar: “To all who find their meat tasteless,” he wrote, “I recommend boar meat; the banquet table will groan under the animal’s weight.”
We’re speaking here only of farmed meat. All male boars are castrated so as not to affect the flavor of the meat. Thus both the male and female have a similar taste, unlike meat from wild animals.
When it comes to age, the young boar provides pinker meat while meat from older animals will be darker, almost burgundy in color.
Ask your butcher for a cut that has not had too much fat trimmed off. Boar is lean meat that needs to be basted with its own fat while cooking in order not to be dry. Good to know: boar fat is very white, semi-firm and low in cholesterol.
When well-wrapped, boar will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator.
Only the tougher cuts need to be marinated. A full-bodied red wine is perfect for them. Try adding a touch of maple syrup!
- Calories: 110
- Carbohydrates: 0
- Fat: 2.71 g
- Protein: 21.29 g
- Cholesterol: 45 to 100 mg, depending on the cut.
- Rich in calcium and vitamin B.
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