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Suckling pig

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suckling pig refers to a famous dish as well as a piglet which is fed on its mother's milk. In culinary, a suckling pig is slaughtered between the ages of two and six weeks. It is traditionally cooked whole, often roasted. It is usually prepared for special occasions and gatherings. The meat from suckling pig is pale and tender and the cooked skin is crisp and can be used for pork rinds. The texture of the meat can be somewhat gelatinous due to the amount of collagen in a young pig.

Suckling pig is known in German cuisine as Spanferkel. It can be roasted in the oven or grilled, and is often served at festive occasions such as Oktoberfest.


There are many ancient recipes for suckling pig from Roman and Chinese cuisine. Since the pig is one of the first animals domesticated by human beings for slaughter, many references to pigs are found in human culture. The suckling pig, specifically, appears in early texts such as the sixth-century Salic law. As an example of a law governing the punishment for theft, Title 2, article 1, is, in Latin, Si quis porcellum lactantem furaverit, et ei fuerit adprobatum (malb. chrane calcium hoc est) CXX dinarios qui faciunt solidos III culpabilis iudicetur. "If someone has stolen a suckling pig and this is proven against him, the guilty party will be sentenced to 120 denarii which adds up to three solidus." The words "chrane calcium" are written in Frankish; "calcium" (or "galza" in other manuscripts) is the gloss for "suckling pig"; porcellum lactantem. These glosses in Frankish, the so-called Malberg-Glossen, are considered the earliest attested words in Old Dutch.

The European cuisines of Romania, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Croatia, and Georgia, favor it highly as well. It also accompanies goose as the traditional Christmas feast of families in Russia and Serbia. There are various preparations for suckling pig in Western and Asian cuisines.

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Suckling pig,

Suckling Pig,

How to cook a suckling pig on a spit roast,