Discover the Iberian Pig

Discovering the Iberian Pig with Iberian Excellence.

Photo by Jesuskyman on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

A unique race in the World.

The Iberian Pig is an exceptional breed. The last pig breed of free range grazing in the World. Its natural habitat is the dehesa, where the Iberian Pig is the main exploited cattle breed. We have to understand the importance of the Iberian Pig and its purity, since it is a unique autochthonous breed, and exclusive of the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula, locatable in just a few areas in Spain and Portugal, unlike the common pig, which inhabits a large part of the terrestrial globe. The Iberian Pig is a direct descendant of Sus Mediterraneus, a wild pig breed native of the Mediterranean, which makes it an ancestral and natural breed.

What makes the iberian pig so special?

Iberian pig is synonymous of quality. Their products are healthy and nutritious, the experts agree that the gastronomic value of this meat is unparalleled, being the Acorn Fed Iberian Ham the jewel of the Spanish gastronomy. This race has the physiological capacity to store fat in the form of infiltrations or marbling between its muscles, which confers a flavor, aroma and spectacular texture to the products made from this meat.

Feeding

As important as the ancestral and natural genetics of this breed, is the breeding regime. The Iberian Pig is composed of a small herd, with a unique feeding mode, since this animal feeds only in the meadow (dehesa), where in the period of the Montanera maintains a completely natural diet based on acorns.Thanks to the feeding system based on the Montanera, which mixes an authentic natural diet, exercise and breed, the Iberian Pig develops enviable organoleptic characteristics, contributing a high percentage of monounsaturated fatty acids to its derived products, being the scientific community in agreement with the fact that consumption of these fats in the diet are beneficial for health.

The Montanera. Exercise and Acorn.

The Montanera is the period of the year between October and February, which is when the Bellota (acorns) falls from the oak and the pig grazes freely in the pasture, having a natural diet. It is in the Montanera where the final phase of traditional fattening of the Iberian pig takes place, in an idyllic landscape of cork oaks and holm oaks.
The animals arrive at the montanera weighing about 90 kg and must fatten around one kilo a day, to reach 160-180 kg at the end of it. If we take into account that the pig needs 12 kilos of acorns for each kilo of meat replacement, we will know that each pig needs to eat more than 800 kg of acorns during the Montanera. On the other hand each oak only produces about 10 kilos of acorns and we find a variable amount of holm oaks per hectare that goes from 20 to 50 holm oaks / ha, so each pig needs to have more than 2 hectares of pasture or what is the same, more than four football fields, for proper feeding.

 

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