Know Your Pig: Tokyo X & Super Golden
Recently, on iron chef (and by that I mean 10 years ago, but I still get excited watching reruns on cable), the tournament of iron chefs featured a battle between Iron Chef Chen (Chinese) and Iron Chef Kobe (Italian). The featured ingredient was Tokyo X, a kind of Japanese super-pork that is to pigs what Kobe beef is to cows, replacing Kurobuta pork at the top of the luxury food chain.
Further research indicates that Tokyo X has a competitor: Super Golden. Searching for Tokyo X is pretty difficult, given the amount of hentai that shows up. But I was able to find some pretty good information. Tokyo X Pigs were bred in the 90’s from three different breeds: Beijing Black, English Berkshire and Duroc. The million-dollar project was carried out by what is now the employer of my dreams, the Tokyo Metropolitan Livestock Experiment Station. Similarly, breeders developed Super Golden over the past half-century from lines of Large White, Landrace and Duroc pigs. The product: highly-marbled meat resulting in extreme tenderness. Taste and juiciness improved as well, but tenderness was what was truly prized.
Unfortunately, the english language WWW doesn’t contain many good descriptions of Tokyo X; the LA Times has a writeup here and there is a semi-official site with a good bit of engrish as well. If you know a good place to buy or try Tokyo-X, please leave a comment.
Chen won the battle, by the way. His Mapo Doufu (Spicy Tofu & Pork) looked delicious.