• Iberico Pork

April 30, 2016

What is Iberico pork? What ‘s the difference among the others? This are among others some of the questions we might be asked. We going to make a explanation about it and hopefully in the end you are decided to try it the fantastic flavour of a cured meat of iberian pig.

 

The Iberian pig (in Portuguese Alentejo breed), whose origins can probably be traced back to the Neolithic, when animal domestication started, is currently found in herds clustered in the central and southern part of Portugal and Spain.

porcos

The Alentejo Breed is a descendent of the sus mediterraneus wild boar from the south deriving from Iberian or Roman lineage. Due to its genetic and inexistence of crossings with other breeds, it registers a greater capacity of
the infiltration of intramuscular fat. Historically preserved in Portugal, the Alentejo Breed is a unique and valued breed throughout the world and it is recognised for its authenticity Portugal therefore has exceptional conditions for
the rearing of the Alentejo Pig:

  • Total surface area of Cork oak and Holm oak forests in Portugal: 1,125,000 ha The Alentejo Pig Breed grazes in total freedom in the cork and holm oaks from 18 to 24 months, in extensive farming conditions.
  • Runs 2 to 3 ha per day searching for available food – acorn and pasture. During the Acorn Season “Montanheira” (November to March) feeds mainly on acorns – 7 to 10 kg per day representing a daily weight increase of 1 kg – until reaches 160Kg.

Rich in oleic acid, the acorn is responsible for the fat that melts in the mouth and the unmistakable aromas and tastes. From the nutritional point of view, the major difference of the Alentejo pig produced in extensive farming is the quality of the fat. Unlike other animals fat, this one is quite unsaturated with monounsaturated fat quite high which prevents  cardiovascular diseases.The replacement of daily consumption of animal fat by fat of Alentejo pigs fattened on acorns controls and promotes cholesterol levels.

The pure and fresh air and the natural climatic conditions are fundamental in the curing process of the Ham, which occurs slowly and naturally, as opposed to other products that are cured in smoke houses.

Without any human intervention, the time of the drying is variable. Time and patience do the rest.

 

Sources:

Barrancarnes;

National Association of Black Pork

Picture – Frederico Carvalho, Monte das Loizandas




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