Extremadura can definitely be considered one of the favourite places for Iberian pigs. They’ve been a part of its landscape since remote times and making ham is a practice that dates back to the Roman era in Extremaduran regions. Extremadura is a reference because...
1. It has been historically connected to pigs. In the Roman era, salting was used to preserve meat from the primitive Iberian breed. This know-how has been passed done through many generations making it possible for these animals to graze in addition to conserving and improving the Iberian breed.
2. With nearly a million hectares of thick oak forests, Extremadura is one of the best conserved ecosystems in Europe where livestock species co-exist with wild fauna.
3. Extremadura has a cold, dry climate which provides the best atmosphere for excellent natural curing of what is considered to be the best ham in the world. It has been covered by the Designation of Origin Dehesa de Extremadura since 1990.
4. The region has large Iberico ham production areas (the mountains southwest of Badajoz, Ibor, Villuercas, Truijillo, Gredos Sur, the Sierra de Montánchez and Sierra de San Pedro mountains).
5. Extremadura is the region that produces the most Iberico pork products in all of Spain. The nearly million hectares of oak woodlands in this region are used by around 1,500 livestock farms.
6. There are more than a hundred industries dedicated to manufacturing these pork products. Besides these areas, there are other centres throughout the province where very high quality Iberico products are made.
Now, you too can say that Extremadura is quite important when it comes to Iberian pigs, can’t you?