By the time you will read this we won’t be at home, nor will we be eating roast beef*. I guess you could say we will be on our way to market as today we have departed the tranquillity and beauty of the Algarve for the city lights of Lisboa and Oporto. Can’t wait! It isn’t that I am bored of the Algarve, it is just I am really looking forward to our return to Lisboa and am excited about discovering Oporto. Our four days in Lisboa are already planned but Oporto is a bit up in the air. So if you have any tips do let us know as all being well I will still be able to access wifi whilst we are away. In the meanwhile though I thought I would spoil you by finally sharing my many pig and piglet photographs!
The ancestors of the modern day Iberian Pig are believed to be a cross of the European Wild Boar and the domesticated pigs introduced to the Iberian Peninsular by the Phoenicians. It is a popular meat in both Portugal and Spain because of the high intramuscular fat. It gives a great taste to the meat and, you may recall from my post on jamón ibérico, when the pigs are fed only on acorns it is delicious. There are, I believe, five different types of Iberian Pig – Guadyerbas, Torbiscal, Retinto, Entrepelado and Negro Lampiño. All but one are black, which gives rise to the description in butchers and on the menu – porco preto. If you see it and eat meat, then do try as not only is it delicious but the pigs have almost certainly had a good life living out in the hills.
The other colour as you will have seen in the photographs is a deep red ( Retinto) and apparently the Duroc breed which you may have seen in England and North America originated from 19th century red Iberian Pigs.
The gorgeous stripey piglets I saw in the Guadiana valley are very similar to the wild boar piglets. Just look at the teeth of the one in the last shot in the gallery below. They are most though likely the young of the black hairy variety (Entrepelado) whose piglets apparently show a chestnut colour at birth. The sow certainly looks hairy, however I don’t really know as I am not a pig expert nor have I spoken to anyone about them!
* If you are not English then you may have been somewhat bemused by my opening sentences. I was referring to a nursery rhyme which begins ‘This Little Piggy’. To find out more about both the rhyme and the actions which go along with it click here or alternatively you can hover your cursor over each photo in the gallery below for each line of the rhyme!