As far as Chowhound knucklesandwich knows, a wild boar is a feral adult male pig, an animal with such an irrepressibly pungent smell that, live or cooked, it can make your eyes water. In some parts of the country, wild boars are terrible pests—so much so that boars can be hunted at will, without a license, if they’re on your property. What about products like sausage labeled wild boar that show up in grocery stores and fancy delis? Are they really made from feral pigs?

Commercially, “wild boar” refers to both mature and young pigs of either sex, whether farmed, wild-hunted, or some combination of the two, JMF says. It’s a specific breed, ancestor of the modern domesticated pig, sometimes called razorbacks or European boars. “I’ve had wild boar that friends hunted and found the meat to be rich, sweet, and with better mouth feel than regular store bought pork,” JMF says. Note that to be sold commercially, any meat hunted legally would have to be inspected by the USDA, kengk points out.

A common practice in parts of the country where pigs are dangerous pests (feeding on endangered species, for example) is to catch a wild pig and fatten it on vegetables and other foods to cleanse the wild taste before slaughter, sunshine842 says. But both sunshine842 and chefathome love the taste of wild pigs that have fed on acorns—like Spain’s feral, jamón Ibérico de bellota.

Discuss: It’s not literally wild boar, is it?

Wild boar photo by Flickr member m.prinke under Creative Commons

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