Iberian Pigs
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About Iberian PigsAbout Iberian Pigs

IberianrnPigs are meat pigs from to the Iberian Peninsula. The Iberian pig can probably berntraced back to the Neolithic, when animal domestication started. Currently theyrnare found in herds clustered in the central and southern part of PortugalandSpain.

rnrnThe most commonly acceptedrntheory is that the first pigs were brought to the Iberian Peninsula by thePhoeniciansfrom the Eastern Mediterranean coastrn(current dayLebanon), where theyrninterbred withwild boars. This crossrngave rise to the ancestors of what are today Iberian pigs. The Iberian breed isrncurrently one of the few examples of a domesticated breed which has adapted torna pastoral setting where the land is particularly rich in natural resources, inrnthis case acorns from the holm oak, gall oak, andcork oak.

rnrnThe numbers of Iberian Pigs has been drasticallyrnreduced since 1960 due to several factors such as the outbreak ofAfrican swine fever and the lowered valuernof animal fats. In the past few years, however, the production of pigs of thernIberian type has increased to satisfy a renewed demand for top quality meat andrncured products. At the same time, breed specialization has led to therndisappearance of some ancestral varieties.

rnrnIberianrnPigs have a good appetite and temp to be very fat, they have a greatrncapacity to accumulate intramuscular and epidermal fat. The high intramuscularrnfat content leads to marbling; and this, plus their feeding based on acorns,rnmakes for especially tasty meat.

rnrnIberian pigs can be either redrnor dark color colored, if black ranging from dark to grey, with little or nornhair and a lean body, thus giving rise to their familiar name pata negra,rnor "black hoof". In traditional management, animals ranged freely inrnsparse oak forest ('dehesa'), they are constantly moving around and thereforernburn more calories than confined pigs.

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