Mangalitsa is a breed of pig grown especially in Hungary and the Balkans known also as a curly-hair hog. It belongs to European unimproved lard-type breeds (as well as Iberian Black, Sicilian Black, and Alentejana pigs) that are descended directly from wild boar populations.
Serbian language reformer Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, gave the breed its name Mangalica, which describes it as a ‘hog with a lot of lard’.
The breed was developed from older hardy types of Hungarian pig (Bakonyi and Szalontai) crossed with the Šumadija breed of Serbian origin (1833) (and later others like Alföldi or Croatian Šiška and Syrmien). The development took place in Hungary in the early 19th century. The new quickly-growing “fat-type” hog did not require any special care, so it became very popular in Hungary. For the improvement of the breed The National Society of Fat-Type Hog Breeders (Mangalicatenyésztők Országos Egyesülete) was established in 1927. Mangalitsa was the most prominent swine breed in the region until 1950 (the number of the hogs in Hungary in 1943 was 30 thousand). Since the 1950s the popularity as well as population of Mangalitsa have been decreasing within the context of greater food dissemination and inventions such as the refrigerator. In the present time, hobby keeping of Mangalica has become popular. The current number of Mangalitsa hogs in Hungary is slightly over 4500, property most of them of Monte Nevado.
In August 2007, Wooly Pigs, an American company, imported a herd of 24 Swallow bellied Mangalitsas from Austria. In 2010 Marc Santucci and Wilhelm Kohl imported 6 Blonde Mangalitsas from Austria.
The Mangalitsa pig breed (also spelled Maнгулица (Serbian cyrillic), Mangulica, Mangalica or Mangaliza, in Hungarian Mangalica, in Romanian Mangaliţa, in German Mangalitza or Wollschwein) is distinguished by its rich and curly coat, which can be blond, black (with swallow bellied variation), and rarely red. Blond (szõke) Mangalitsa is the most common and popular. The skeleton is fine but very strong. The skin under the fur is greyish-black; the visible parts are black as well as teats and hooves. The number of teats on the female is 10–12. On the lower edge of the ear one can find a bright spot (an inch in diameter), the so-called “Wellmann fleck”. The breed is admirably hardy and adaptable to mountain feeding and low temperatures. It is also extremely disease and stress resistant.