The pasture, the home of the Iberian pig
We call pasture to the forest in which the holms, oaks, corks, and gall oak coexist. This habitat exists mainly in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula, and extends over an area of over 2 million hectares, of which almost half are located in Extremadura. It consists on a specific flora associated with these tree species, and some peculiarities of the land that make it an ideal place for the breeding of the Iberian pig.
This space is the place for which our protagonists will freely release during their fattening season, which will coincide with that season of the year (montanera) where the trees will bear fruit: the acorn, the delicacy that will provide that peculiar flavor to Iberian hams.
The oak can give around 20-25 kilos of acorns. If in one hectare we can find 50 holm oaks, imagine the amount of acorns may be accumulated! It is easy to get an idea of why the Iberian pig is so happy in this place. Its daily menu will include as main course, from 6 to 10 kilos of acorns per day, to which we will add, for dessert, about 3 kilos of grass. As a result, by the end of this stage, the animals will have reached a weight of 160kg.
The production of 100% Iberian pig in a good year, is approximately 350,000 pieces a year, however, in the years with low acorn production, it can be reduced by half, about 150,000 pieces.
That is why, due to the fragility of this ecosystem and the high value of its Iberian pigs, the pasture is a protected environment that has become an untouchable place. Neither buildings nor farms, the hand of man is totally respectful in this place.
You know, do not miss the opportunity to walk through a pasture, and enjoy the tranquility that is breathed in the countryside!