Italian Cooking: Wild Boar

My next cooking assignment is pappardelle ragù di cinghiale, fresh pasta with wild boar ragu.

In class, Chef talked about the wild boars of Tuscany. The region is well known for dishes featuring “cinghiale” and there are many food festivals “sagre del cinghiale“, celebrating the delicacy. Hunting wild boar is a longstanding Italian tradition but in recent years, the animal has become more of a pest. Unfettered by natural predators, the boar population has increased and they are an increasing threat to people, crops and the environment.

Wild boars are a problem in Canada too.

“The first wild boars were imported from Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s by farmers looking to diversify Canadian livestock, as well as for recreational hunting. But many broke out of their enclosures: wild boars are notorious escape artists, capable of “easily jumping a six-foot fence,” Brook explained. 

As the market for wild boar meat declined in the early 2000s, many Canadian farmers released animals into the wild, adding to the already growing population. “

“Wild pigs are massive creatures, typically weighing between 120 and 250 pounds, although Brook says one boar he encountered weighed 638 pounds. Feral pigs can ruin natural habitats, eat crops, harass livestock and contaminate water sources. They can also carry a plethora of diseases that can spread to livestock: foot and mouth disease is expensive to deal with when it infects whole herds, while highly infectious African swine fever “would practically end Canada’s global trade in pork,” according to the Canadian Hog Journal.  “

 They’re here! Wild pigs are trying to take over Canada by Faith Greco, The Narwhal. January 2023

Different provinces have different strategies to control the wild boar population. Here in BC, folks can hunt wild boar with a license. In Alberta where hunting is encouraged, there’s no requirement for a license, there’s no kill limit and a government bounty ($75) for each pair of pig’s ears returned 🥴

Interestingly, hunting is not considered an effective control measure, “… research shows hunting actually accelerates the spread of wild pigs, as they flee to new areas to evade hunters.” 

I need boar meat for my assignment but I cannot find it for sale in my local market. Nor is it in the market in the town two hours away.

I suppose hunting is an option.   I’d need a rifle or  a spear or a really big knife. 

Hmm. No. Not really an option. 


    1. I’ve never considered buying meat over the internet. I’ve purchased most of the other things I need but not this.

      Have you ever tried or seen wild boar Marie? Seems like you’re in the part of the world where there might be some available


    1. I don’t fancy it myself. I considered posting a photo of a hunter & his kill to give an idea of how big these animals are in Canada. However, I got queasy just looking at them. I didn’t want to share the feeling.

      Substitution is definitely my option. It won’t get the ‘authentic’ taste but it’ll do.

      Have you ever tasted boar Sarah?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, some Italian restaurants here serve it as ragu although I tend to go for lighter options these days. And I had wild boar chops once in Berlin, if I remember rightly.


    1. In order to get the course credit I have only one ‘skip’ option. I have to save that for the last class. It requires an even harder to find ingredient and I’m still waiting on my mail order delivery.

      Liked by 1 person

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