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Ibérico pork

Montanero-fed Spanish Ibérico pork

Ibérico pork is distinguished by a particularly intensive flavour that is far removed from regular pork. The pigs, which are also called “pata negra” due to their black hooves, can form intramuscular fat tissue. The meat from this original Spanish breed is lined with delicate fat veins, which make it flavoursome, succulent and tender.

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What are Ibérico pigs fed?

Ibérico pigs receive special feed. Their natural habitat is the Extremadura, an area of 45 km² in the west of Spain. The vast oak forests (“dehesas”) of this environment provide them with a diet consisting primarily of acorns and grass, which gives Ibérico pork a wonderfully nutty flavour. The higher the amount of acorns in their feed, the higher the bellota grade (bellota = Span. acorns) of their meat.

 What is the bellota grade?

Depending on the breeder’s preference, pigs undergo one or two cycles of montanera feeding. Ibérico breeder Garimori herds his animals through the oak forests once between October and March: they experience the montanera phase once and reach a bellota grade of 30 per cent.