Growing rare breeds for the table enhances their chances of survival. Increased demand leads to increased supply.
Simply choosing rare breeds alone however does not ensure tasty results. The environment, what and how they’ve been fed and raised have the most influence in flavour and texture.
Wessex Saddleback Pigs
Wessex Saddlebacks have attracted a lot of attention in the media lately being one of the most popular rare breeds for small landholders. Being the most sentient of animals, pork meat most reflects how an animal is raised and dispatched.
Jersey cows are not classified as a rare breed, but are now not commonly chosen for commercial dairies due to their lower rate of production compared with Holstein Friesian crosses. However, Jersey milk has the highest level of milk solids and butterfat of any breed of cattle.
Silver Grey Dorking Chickens
Dorking chickens were said to have been brought to Britain by the Romans in about AD30. This five-toed heavy breed has always been known for its table qualities, is friendly, easily tamed and are a good egg layer for a specific meat breed.
The pink-billed Aylesbury duck developed in the early 18th century is fast growing and are said to be the table duck of choice. One of the largest breeds of domestic ducks they can be ready for the table in about eight weeks, weighing somewhere in the vicinity of 4 to 6 kg.