Monday, December 19, 2011

Hey pig, gimme 5!

Little piggy, come here to eat and grow - Daddy's gonna eat you afterwards...

From piglet to Christmas ham in 6 months;

On Saturday Dec 3rd Helsingin Sanomat, THE main morning paper in Finland, had a story about a pig that they were monitoring from birth to meat. Of course the web version at was shorter, so I should share some bits & pieces with you.

  • June 3rd the male piglet number 301 was born at Pöytyä, Finland
  • For the first two weeks, the piglet is fed with milk by the BIG mama pig that can weigh even 250 kilos
  • At the age of 2 weeks, the pig weighs 3-4 kilos and starts to get proper food, starting with fodder
  • When the pig is 4 weeks, he says bye-bye to mama pig and is separated also from the other sex. That is the male pigs and female pigs are grouped separately.
  • When the pig is 3 months old, it is already 40 kilos and picks up almost one kilo per day
  • The doom day for the pig number 301 was November 21st, while the weight was already 126 kilos.
  • On November 22nd the pig had transformed from a pig into meat, that was getting ready to be eaten around the world: Majority - including a Christmas ham - in Finland, ribs in USA, front claws - etusorkat - in Malesia where they are treated as a delicasy.
  • On December 24th somewhere in Finland the ham offered by the pig number 301 will be the centre point of a Cristmas meal
If you don't like the facts above, perhaps you should change the habit what you eat. At 2010 we Finns ate 71,9 kilos of meat per capita. Out of that, 34,8 kilos was pork = pig, 18,5 kilos chicken etc birds and 18,6 was from cows/bulls.

Here is some price info for the ones interested;
  • Finnish ham; fresh 8-11 Eur / kg, frozen ~4 Eur / kg
  • Turkey, Finnish as a whole, 4-6 kg; fresh 10-12 Eur / kg, frozen 6-12 Eur / kg
  • Turkey fillet, Finnish; 14-16 Eur / kg
  • Duck, Finnish as a whole, ~2 kg; fresh 28 Eur / kg, frozen 15-20 Eur / kg
  • Duck fillet, foreign alien (Donald?), 0,35 kg; 24 Eur / kg
Is here in place the old saying "you are what you eat"?!? Here is a Finnish tribute song for a Christmas ham.

Luckily the singer, late Juice Leskinen was a handsome one.

Back to the pigs.

My mother used to stay up - or wake up when needed - to make sure the ham was properly cooked. A big one, in this case one around 10 kilos, took easily more than 12 hours. Nowadays we've had a smaller one for our family, even for a bit extended one, but still it takes hours to cook it and I have practiced it now for a couple of times. More I've been involved with putting the jacket on the ham, also a sort of an art that I am happy to practice more.

Since Mom is not around. And I miss her, of course more at this type of times where I have so strong memories connected! Joo, Äitiä ikävä...

My Mom loved the singer of this song, Vesa-Matti Loiri - who is not on top of my favorite list as a singer. Great artists and a sportsman in many areas. Another on in Finnish, enjoy.

5 nights to go before some kilos of pig's bum is on our table. Hyvää Joulun odotusta!!!

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