If there's a grocery store that regularly brings more unique food items to its customers than Corti Brothers in east Sacramento, we don't know of it.
Over recent years I've mentioned a few of its more unusual offerings (which come and go): lean yet tender Piedmontese beef; "crab-dad" cakes assembled from Atlantic rock crab meat and wild-caught crawdad tail meat from China; Consorcio Espanol Conservero brand tuna; and prawns hand-coated in shredded dried coconut from the Philippines.
Now the store's brain trust has consulted to bring in the "wooly pig," a.k.a. the Hungarian Mangalitsa (MON-go-leet-sah).
Let store director Rick Mindermann explain: "Darrell Corti came across this amazing pig at an international food trade show in Tokyo. The Japanese have embraced this breed. Like their world-renown Kobe beef, the Mangalitsa is (heavily fat-marbled). The current popular 'heritage breeds' of Duroc and Berkshire are 'meat-type' (pigs). The Mangalitsa is a 'lard-type' breed with (a high content) of healthful oleic acid in the fat."
I bought pork steaks cut from the shoulder and the leg and cooked them at home in a black iron frying pan. The flavors and textures were excellent, unlike any pork I've tasted.
Prices range from $7.99 to $18.99 a pound, depending on the cut.
Corti Brothers is at 5810 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento; (916) 736-3800 or www.cortibros.biz.