Gillian was a pig, in fact a big pig. Much larger than anyone realised.

Gillian was probably what is best described as a salami pig. The reason being that Gillian is so big, with so much fat that there is little else which she can be used for.

We estimate that Gillian must have been in excess of 300kg. The basis of the estimation is that once cut into primals it was like this – rear leg 33kg (each); shoulder 25kg; mid-section 63kg.

The rear leg was so large that it was too big for prosciutto. We deboned and made small hams (noix de jambon) which was subsequently brined and smoked. The shoulder produced a good capocollo and a large amount of dried meat for sausage.

The belly was a different story. The fat layers were so thick that it was more than a handspan wide. It was too fatty for bacon, as I found out. The smell of rendering pork fat in the smoker was that of despair.

Beware of blokes trying to sell you a pig which is too big.