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Heritage Meats

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The Latest Haute Heritage Meat: Chicken

Heritage Foods USA recently announced the arrival of a chicken so pure and primitive, so unspoiled by modern industrial breeding, that it has “even retained [its] fighting look” from its days as a battling Javanese bird. The price of the Indian Game Chicken is fierce, too: $68 for two three-and-a-half pounders. Apparently, the first batch of birds sold out in two days, and the company reports that some of the city’s top chefs have come calling, including those from the Batali group, the Craft restaurants, and the Cleaver Catering Company.

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Real-Life Troy McClure Takes Beef Ethics to the Next Level

Since the death of Phil Hartman, no one besides Troy McClure has embodied the old-fashioned, stentorian-voiced announcer like A&E’s Bill Kurtis. (It was Kurtis who narrated Anchorman — click here for a sound clip.) But what you may not know about the American Justice host is that he owns a huge cattle ranch in Kansas and that his all-natural, pasture-raised, purebred Hereford beef, marketed under the name Tall Grass Beef, will be available soon in New York.

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Chef Plans to Build a Better Pig

Cesare Casella has always been a hands-on kind of guy. The Maremma chef, a leading light of Tuscan cookery in America, imports his own beans and makes his own sausages. It only follows, then, that sooner or later he'd invent his own pig. Casella is breeding the Large Black, the tastiest breed of swine we've ever eaten, with a Yorkshire-Duroc crossbreed, the most durable and healthy. Their offspring are being mated with Large Blacks, creating a pig that grows fast, lives long, causes little trouble, and tastes better than you can imagine — or at least, that's the idea. The pigs will appear first at Maremma — after the current generation, which is still young, begins producing offspring at the end of this year or in early '07 — and later at other restaurants around town. Lots of chefs create new pork dishes, but how many create new pigs? (It's almost like Pygmalion. Except Higgins never ate Eliza.)

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