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Jan 4, 2013 06:01 AM

It's not literally wild boar, is it?

As far as I know, a boar is a feral adult male pig with a complete set of reproductive organs, an irrepressibly pungent animal that, dead or alive, can make anyone's eyes water.

So the stuff they use in restaurants, sell in overpriced butcher stores, make into artisanal salami, etc...can't be him, right?

So what is "wild boar"? Wild...sow? Wild prepubescent boy pigs? Wild eunuchs?

Is wild boar even wild? Wouldn't the incredibly wide range of things a genuine feral pig eats (pine tree roots, skunk cabbage, snakes, bear poop...they can't all live exclusively on wild acorns) make it a dicey food choice for anyone other than a well-informed hunter?

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  1. as far as i know and i have read, it's merely a different breed of pig, related to wild pigs still extant.

    however, it is farm raised. for the most part, it is illegal for restaurants to sell truly wild game.

    3 Replies
    1. re: linus

      The thing is, at least in the South East, wild hogs are not considered game, they are considered the property of whoever's land they happen to be on.

      That said, I think the problem would arise because the meat would have to be inspected by the USDA like all other meat that is sold.

      1. re: linus

        Yes, "Wild Boar" also called razorbacks or European boars in the US, are a specific species of pig. They are the ancestor of domestic pig. They were introduced to the Americas by the colonists. Usually boar means adult male pig, but in "wild boar" it refers to adults and young of both sexes. They are raised commercially worldwide, and also their wild populations are hunted. I some countries the wild hunted ones can be sold commercially, in others they cannot.

        I've had wild boar that friends hunted and found the meat to be rich, sweet, and with better mouth feel than regular store bought pork. You mention that wild "wild boar" supposedly eat all kinds of nasty stuff. But in general they eat a healthier diet than farm raised. Yes, they are unparticular omnivores and eat ANYTHING, but when you hunt them in the fall they tend to have been eating off the fat of the land for several months. Acorns, grains, etc., and so are pretty tasty critters. Although old boars (as in the original term, adult males) can be tougher and gamier upon occasion.

        1. re: JMF

          Depends on where you take your wild hogs. In South Florida, as elsewhere in the south, we have a tremendous amount of feral hogs. We trap them and put them on a feed lot and worm them before you would even think about eating them. Otherwise, they are loaded with parasites, worms and what-have-you inside and out. They generally live on low-nutritional mast like palmetto berries, and carrion. This makes the meat pretty rank taken right out of the scrub. They clean up real nice, though. The whole process takes about a month.

      2. I don't know, could be. In Georgia wild hogs are not considered to be a "game" animal and are the property of the land owner. In other words, if I had pigs on my land I could shoot them and sell them, can't do that with deer.

        Also, a lot of hog hunters catch the hogs alive using dogs and bring them home to fatten.

        I suspect that what is commercially available are simply free range pigs.

        1 Reply
        1. depends on where you are and where you got it.

          I used to know folks who'd catch one alive, then keep it in a pen for a few weeks, feeding it vegetables and bread to cleanse the strong flavors.

          But yeah, sometimes it really is wild hawg.

          1. Where I am in the world, wild boar numbers are on the increase, after many years in decline. And, yes, wild boars are wild - although some are farmed, although are semi-wild in that the woodlands where they are raised are fenced off:


            2 Replies
            1. re: Harters

              yep, the roti I saw this morning used to be wild. They do farm them in SW France and in Spain - dry-cured bellota ham (raised on a diet of acorns) is particularly sigh-worthy.

              1. re: sunshine842

                We've had wild boar many, many times and love that which are fed on acorns best. My husband has also shot them with his bow and arrow. Much of what we've had is truly wild.

            2. I know what commercially raised pigs eat, what free range chickens eat, and what wild fish eat. Given that, I'm not terribly concerned about the diet of wild boar/pig.