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Shiny happy piggies: Edinburgh eatery serves up pork from "happiest pigs in the land"

One of the capital's finest restaurants - L'Escargot Blanc - has collaborated with a community farm in Gorgie. The result? Stress-free animals providing the basis of a top-to-tail menu...

One of the pair of pigs at Gorgie Farm

Eating meat that has had a luxurious life is a relatively new experience helped to prominence by the introduction of Kobe beef (from Wagyu cattle that reportedly received massages and were fed beer) to global menus.

But an Edinburgh restaurant is set to rival this Japanese gourmet product as it gets set to serve pork from two pigs born and reared on nearby Gorgie City Farm - and who led the best lives possible prior to being slaughtered.

L'Escargot Blanc in the city's new town has taken delivery of the two pigs with the intention of using every part of their carcasses for diners' enjoyment.

Fred Berkmiller, who owns and run the restaurant as well as its sister L'Escargot Bleu, said: "I am always looking for interesting dishes to put on our menu at L'Escargot Blanc and try to source as much local produce as I can from across Scotland.

"I especially like the idea of buying from Gorgie City Farm, as I know it's a happy farm where the animals are treated well.

"I went to visit the pigs that were delivered and they looked extremely content and healthy - a happy animal is always a good sign of quality.

"I am hoping to carry on working with Gorgie City Farm, as I believe in what the farm is trying to achieve.

Gorgie City Farm is a community-led initiative dedicated to educating children and adults with a hands-on approach, allowing members of the public to help muck out and groom animals, take part in environmental projects such as making winter hibernation homes for bees, and gardening.

The pigs in question were fed a combination of pig feed and fruit and vegetables donated by customers from a nearby Sainsbury, and their journey to the abattoir was as stress-free as possible owing to their familiarity with humans from prior interaction at the farm.

Berkmiller hopes to continue the respect shown to the pigs in life and death by using the entirety of the animals and butchering the animals himself in order to maximize the yield each carcass can give.

"As we say in France, tout est bon dans le cochon - this means that when you kill a pig absolutely every part is valuable, there is no waste and everything can be eaten and enjoyed.

"I am planning to use the pigs in various terrines, paté, roasts and casseroles. It will probably be served in a very simple way as the quality and flavour of the pig will be the main attraction.

"It has always been a priority of mine to help local people. I remember taking my kids to Gorgie City Farm when they were much younger and I loved it then and still do to this day.

"I genuinely respect the fact that they want to make children much more aware of what a farm is all about. I am a great supporter of anything that is going to get children more involved with food and learning about exactly where it comes from.

"We are in the process of organising an event with Gorgie City Farm later on this year and we also have planned to have a Gorgie Farm Pig Buffet at L'Escargot Bleu during the slow food week in June."

When asked what the cuts of the animal ordinarily perceived as offal will be used for, Berkmiller said: "The snout will be used in terrines and pate.

"The tail I will keep for myself!"

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