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Austin restaurateur asks Texans for help in saving the environment by eating wild hogs
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Austin restaurateur asks Texans for help in saving the environment by eating wild hogs

The Dai Due restaurant is located in Austin’s Cherrywood Neighborhood and offers a wild boar confit.

Henry Tiles, a local chef, explained that the rich flavor profile was created using all locally sourced ingredients.

He said that today’s ingredients will be turnips, parsley and dill. Then we’ll add a little orange zest. Finally, we’ll drizzle it with red wine vinaigrette. On top, there will be borscht broth.

It’s a popular dish.

He said that he could easily sell 20-30 items on a weekend.


Dominic Anthony Walsh


Texas Public Radio

Like the rest, wild boar confit is made from only locally sourced ingredients.

Jesse Griffiths, Dai Due chef and owner, said that there is a reason that the menu lists the meats as wild boar.

He said that wild boar chorizo sells better than feral hog’s chorizo. This was something we discovered early on. You’ll find that it’s often a semantic deal Feral hogs are hogs on the wrong end of the fence. They could be escaped or they could be 100 generations wild. But they are just hogs with no addresses.

There are more than 6,000,000 hogs without addresses in the United States. About 35 states have them. Texas has about 3 million. According to the USDA. It is a major problem in rural areas.

Griffiths explained that they are very good at procreating. They are intelligent. They won’t go away and they are also very destructive.

He suggested that Texans should try to eat the problem. He literally Author of the bookHow to do it: The Hog Book: A Cook’s Guide to Hunting and Butchering Wild Pigs

He said that if you want to pick an ingredient or take a stand about an ingredient, it’s going to be something that can really make a difference. I don’t feel guilty about killing as many of these animals as I can.

Experts agree.

According to Michael Bodenchuk (State Director for the Texas Wildlife Services Program), “Anyone who removes the pig is a friend.” This takes a concerted effort, and a planned effort to address.

He called feral hogs an environmental train wreck and warned that more Texans would be affected if they don’t get mitigation.

He joked that there are two kinds of people living in Texas. Feral hogs are already moving to the suburbs. They are destroying public golf courses. Traffic accidents pose a threat to human safety. If the population grows beyond the current levels, then people will begin to notice the problem in their own communities.

His program coordinates landowners to control wild hog populations.

John Tomeek also does this type of work. He is an Assistant Professor and Wildlife Extension Specialist at Texas A&M AgriLife. He said that hunting alone is not enough to stop the hog bomb explosion. Hunting was actually what lit the fuse.

They aren’t native wildlife so there is no hunting season. However, they can be hunted all year, he explained. People moved the pigs to create hunting opportunities in the last two decades of the 20th Century, and basically seeded new lands with pigs.

He stated that to deal with such a large problem, it will require a combination of techniques, including hunting, trapping and fencing, as well as poison or other biological controls.

He stated that landscape scale coverage is key to long-term management of pigs. These things are everywhere. You can connect populations that reproduce very successfully and then reinhabit areas which are being removed. Everyone on the landscape, each land manager, and every landowner must work together to achieve the goal of eradication. We may never reach our goal. It’s the same as the “shoot for the stars, reach for the moon” analogy.

This is not the first time that an invasive species appears on a restaurant’s dinner menu. Red lionfish is available on the east coast. Kudzu vine salads are available in the south. Who would have thought that ecological train wrecks could taste so good!

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