Challenges have never prevented Will Harris from backing down from any endeavor he considered advantageous for his family, his farm, his animals, and his community. When approached by the Oriol family, who traveled from Spain through the United States, searching for a farm to partner with in raising Iberico pigs in the United States, there was much to consider. There were numerous facets to encompass in order to make this union a success. All things considered, Will accepted the challenge, which brings us to this point: Our Iberico Pancetta is the winner in the food category of the 2018 Garden & Gun 9th Annual Made In The South Awards. Our prized hogs graze on our pastures full of native grasses and consume the pecans and peanuts grown locally in our surrounding communities. After our pork is hand-butchered, we ship it to La Quercia in Norwalk, Iowa, where it is cured in the drier, less humid climate. The meat may be served as the Europeans prefer—thinly sliced and eaten raw, or fried to a crisp like our usual Southern bacon.
Garden & Gun magazine has partnered with Volvo Car USA to host a Made In the South Weekend, which takes place November 9-11 in Charleston, South Carolina. Both pay homage to the talented and creative Southern artisans, chefs, designers, craftsmen, and craftswomen who present products in Crafts, Drink, Food, Home, Outdoors, and Style categories. Chef Asha Gomez, who was born in India, is the author of My Two Souths and was the judge that chose White Oak Pastures’ Iberico pancetta as the winner in the Food category. Never having tasted our Iberico pancetta, Gomez’s focus on selecting a winner was choosing a company that exposed the South’s seasonal ingredients, and White Oak Pastures’ Iberico Pancetta is all-encompassing. “It’s like silk on your palate,” states Gomez. “You can taste the care that went into raising and curing the animal.”
White Oak Pastures is privileged to be the recipient of this award bestowed upon us by Garden & Gun, which is one of the most distinguished magazines in the country. This award solidifies what we at White Oak Pastures witness daily: Iberian hogs are not only able to withstand our environment; they THRIVE in the deep South, specifically here on our vertically-integrated, regenerative farm. Iberico pancetta delivers nutty pork flavor derived from the pecans and peanuts the hogs foraged.
We have the utmost regard for prior beneficiaries of this award and congratulate the following esteemed companies who currently rank as runners-up in the Food category.The Food Category runners-up:
- JED’s Finest Sweet-Cured Jalapenos (Houston, TX)
- Blackberry Patch Satsuma Syrup (Thomasville, GA)
- Lindera Farms Magnolia Vinegar (Delaplane, VA)