Breeding, feeding and Iberian Jamòn
The breeding of Iberian pig in the Spanish Dehesa represents a consolidated reality and mainly aimed at obtaining the famous Iberian jamòn. La Dehesa is a wooded area located in the south-west of Spain where it covers an area of about 3 million hectares for about a third used for the wild breeding of the Iberian pig. The wood species that characterize it are those typical of the Mediterranean scrub with an imposing presence of various species of oaks (Quercus ilix, suber and lusitanica). The pigs are grazed in the woods mainly during the fattening phase; due to the seasonal variability, however, the forest is not always able to ensure the full livelihood of the animals. In periods of lower forest productivity, pigs are also fed with commercial feed, and it is precisely on the basis of this food diversification that ham is classified into three different categories:
1. Montanera or Bellota (= acorns) - 2. Recebo - 3. Cebo
Montanera or Bellota: represents the elite product and comes from animals fattened in the woods. Slaughter takes place only after having guaranteed an adequate feeding period based exclusively on acorn and other forest resources in order to ensure a strong qualitative characterization of the product. The latter is fundamentally linked to the acidic composition of the fat which closely reflects that of the acorn, that is, greater richness in monounsaturated fatty acids, oleic in particular. The protection of the product is ensured by control bodies that objectively evaluate the content of fatty acids (palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic) whose values, minimum and maximum, are set annually and published by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture.
Recebo: it is a product that derives from animals that have not been able to complete their production cycle in the woods, for which they are finished with traditional feed. The commercial value is therefore lower than that of Montenera.
Cebo: comes from animals fed exclusively with traditional feed and, consequently, has the lowest commercial value.
Cerdo Iberico, in analogy with the type of pig widespread in other countries of the Mediterranean basin (Black Pig of Sicily, Casertano, Calabrese, Mora Romagnola, Cinta Senese, Alentejano, Corsican pig) has a colored coat, unlike the northern European breeds with pink skin and white bristles (eg Large White and Landrace).
Cerdo Iberico is present today with different breeds, with the same origin. The main difference is the color, which goes from black to red (some with bristles, others naked).
The size is medium and the muscles are good. The limbs are thin but strong and suitable for grazing.
from La Cinta Senese - Product quality - Carolina Pugliese, Riccardo Bozzi
Department of Zootechnical Sciences, University of Florence
Bellota Ham - Grazing pigs
List of Cerdo Iberian breeds - by Alessio Zanon
Spanish breed almost hairless with very thin limbs.
Rectilinear frontonasal profile, wide and hanging ears.
Present with two varieties: Negro Lampino Pelòn Guadianés and Negro Lampino De la Serena.
Spanish variety obtained by crossing Negro Lampino with the Large black English breed. It has better conformation and high prolificity, but is lower in rusticity than in pure Negro Lampino. It has bristles except for some characteristic regions where it has none.
It is the Spanish Iberian breed with the greatest diffusion with the varieties: R.E. Valdesequera, R.E. Villalòn, R.E Silvela and R.E. Olivenza. In the past, some of these varieties suffered from crossbreeding with the English Tamworth breed.
Spanish breed distributed in the provinces of Cordoba, Seville, Cadiz.
With the varieties: R. Cano (whitish head, called Cano Campinés); R. Dorado (has intense skin pigmentation; also called Dorado Gaditano).
A large number of these subjects have tits like the Casertana breed.
Breed in serious danger of extinction.
Manchado de Jabugo
Spanish breed known since the beginning of the last century.
It derives from various not all known crossings.
Spanish breed originated around 1943.
It was obtained from the merger of 4 lines (Portuguese Envideira, Portuguese Caldeira, Puebla, Campanario).
Two-tone coloring, without noticeable color differences.
Parallel to the Torbiscal other lineages originated (Gamito, Guadyerbas).