For the past few weeks, I've been showering with an adorable pig that fights snugly in the palm of my hand and works up a nice lather. The soap also has a fresh, subtle scent, which is a good thing, because it comes from the same pigs that give me my morning bacon.
The soap is made exclusively for Newman Farm by Robin Rose, who uses the lard from the farm's Berkshire pigs as a starting point, adding coconut milk, castor oil, Vitamin E, and a fragrance mixed initially for herself.
"I originally called this scent His and Her because it was well rounded and appealed to everyone," Rose said. "But it seemed perfect for the Newmans, and now it's their scent exclusively."
Shoppers at the farmers markets in downtown Memphis and Hernando, Mississippi, may recognize Rose who sells under the product name "Handcrafted Soap by Robin Rose." Typically, her soaps don't use animal products, although she readily admits, "I've made soap out of everything." Her earliest soaps were made with lard and goat's milk, including a popular favorite called, "Not Your Grandma's Lard Soap."
Lard is a long-standing staple for soap makers because it makes a creamy lather, and Rose may soon tackle another old-fashioned ingredient: beef tallow. "Andrew Donnell from Donnell Farm approached me about making soap with tallow," Rose said. "That will be fun to try."