The Berkshire hog breed dates back to the 1600’s, rumored to have been first discovered by Sir Oliver Cromwell who prized Berkshire hogs for their superior meat quality. During this time, the Berkshire was described as a reddish or sandy colored pig. Approximately 320 years ago, East Asian black pigs were imported to England where they were crossed with the Berkshire producing the black coat and 6 distinct spots that we see today. The British Royal family has been dedicated to breeding Berkshire hogs and are known to have herds at their Windsor Castle estate.
Not long after the creation of these black Berkshire hogs, they were sent as a gift to modern day Okinawa. The people of Okinawa were so impressed by the quality of the Berkshire that they sent some north to Kyushu, now home to the world famous Kagoshima Kurobuta pork and Kobe beef brands. Within a century of its arrival, the Japanese acquired a preference to the robust, tender, juicy pork and created feeding and animal management techniques that brought out the best tasting pork ever.