Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Re: Just Because You Can Does... | $109 Million »

Friday, April 4, 2008

Austria Is Not Australia

posted by on April 4 at 13:54 PM

As you’re probably already aware, Austria is not Australia. One: waltzes, the start of WWI, Freud, sausages. The other: criminals, the Great Barrier Reef, kangaroos, shrimp/barbies. Which place would you go to find an especially delicious breed of pig?


The new-to-us, super-extra-tasty pork known as Mangalitsa, or Wooly pig, comes from Austria, not Australia as I originally said in this week’s chow lead (my error lives on in print, though the online version has been corrected; the story is actually mostly about puppets). The gents who imported the Wooly pigs (with much difficulty, including lengthy quarantines on each side) are raising them out by Spokane.

Our goal is to raise pigs that taste as good as those of the Austrians, the people who sold us the pigs and taught us about pig fattening. We are raising the Mangalitsa as they do, and working with them to maximize our meat quality.

The pigs are raised in a humane manner.

The climate out there in the Palouse isn’t so dissimilar to Austria’s, either, so that works well. (It is dissimilar to the climate in, say, Australia.) I knew that the Woolies came from Austria, but then I forgot. I talked separately with two different very smart, very food-oriented types about the pigs, saying, “Was it Austria or Australia?” which made them both laugh, then they BOTH said Australia. (Ha ha ha! It doesn’t even make sense!) Still, it’s completely my fault, and I am mortified.

RSS icon Comments


That pig is both ugly and attractive at the same time. Kind of like Steve Buscemi.

Posted by Ari Spool | April 4, 2008 1:53 PM

Great post. Humble, informative, and whimsical all at once. I love it. From what I understand, the area around Adelaide (in Australia) is quite similar to the Palouse as well.

Posted by laterite | April 4, 2008 2:03 PM

Nice photo of Newt Gingrich.

Posted by Dead Reagan | April 4, 2008 2:07 PM

Omar could never remember if that fancy gun that Wee Bey was always flashing was from Austria or Australia either, but he know he seen it plenty of times.

Meat is murder, by the way.

Posted by elenchos | April 4, 2008 2:07 PM

I put a wooly pig shoulder in the crock pot with some carmelized onions, red wine, apple cider, and soy sauce, and it was unbelievable. Highly recommended.

Posted by giantladysquirrels | April 4, 2008 2:16 PM

@2: Except that it doesn't snow hardly at all around Adelaide...

Posted by Dave Coffman | April 4, 2008 2:31 PM

The idea that pork can taste even better than it already does fills me with happiness.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | April 4, 2008 2:32 PM

Austria has some of the strictest animal protection laws (if they're poultry or livestock) in the world. I think that's probably for the best, because over there, ham is an anytime food.

Posted by Ariel | April 4, 2008 2:41 PM

@4 Bird

Posted by In MN | April 4, 2008 3:05 PM

That Mangalitsa is absolutely amazing, the best meat I have ever had in my life. Heath is a blast to talk to, dude is passionate about pork, he's been at the U District farmers' market all year.

Posted by Abe | April 4, 2008 3:07 PM

OK, fine. It was Bird.

Posted by elenchos | April 4, 2008 3:16 PM

I think it's that guy that won $1 million from Jim McDermott, thanks to the activist judges on the US Supreme Court, you know, Pesticide Guy.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 4, 2008 3:17 PM

My sister's currently living in Vienna, Austria... as opposed to "Venice, Australia" as my possibly senile grandfather announced in a mass email.

Posted by Katelyn | April 4, 2008 3:48 PM

One more geopolitical error to correct:

Spokane is not on the Palouse. You have to go half an hour south of town to get to the Palouse.

Posted by D Huygens | April 4, 2008 4:03 PM

Australia also has to live with the shame of producing that other pig: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Posted by Fnarf | April 4, 2008 5:41 PM

Bethany, Bethany, Bethany.

It looks like you have wrested further offence from the jaws of apology. Or is it, perhaps, the mandibles of mortification…

You've added insult to previous injury by observing that the "climate out there in the Palouse... ( dissimilar to the climate in, say, Australia.)"

Australia is big, as big as the continental United States as it happens, so the idea that it has a single monolithic climate that could be compared to the Palouse is rather funny. I’d be startled to discover that there wasn’t a similar climate in Australia.

I can only assume that by your logic the climate in Maine, Florida, Southern California and Washington State are all exactly the same.

I hear the cross-country skiing in the Florida Keys is excellent.


Posted by The Gay Curmudgeon | April 4, 2008 6:32 PM

There are places it snows in Australia, but they're in the mountains, and the Palouse isn't mountainous. It is a big wheat-growing area, though, and Australia has a huge wheat industry, though it's suffering horribly right now from drought and salinity especially in the Margaret River area in the southwest corner of the state.

But then, I don't think Austria's climate resembles the Palouse in the slightest, either. Austria is alpine.

Posted by Fnarf | April 4, 2008 6:46 PM

That is the best picture of Ken Hutcherson's wife I've seen in years.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 4, 2008 7:16 PM


Posted by Mr. Poe | April 4, 2008 7:17 PM

I'm moving to Austria. Sha la la la la.

Posted by ams | April 5, 2008 7:26 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).