Everything you need to know about Iberico pork

Jul 18, 2019Iberico Pork

Iberico Pork from Spain

If you are not from the Mediterranean area, you probably never heard about Iberico pork from Spain.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about it. Like what makes it taste so good, and what is the difference compared to regular pork meat. This kind of product is really hard to find since the only place where the pork comes from is in the Iberian area on the Spanish and Portuguese lands.

Contents :

Where does it come from?

What is different about Iberico meat?

What is the breeding process for Iberico pigs?

Is this kind of pork more expensive?

What cuts can I find ?

Can I bring Iberico into the US ?

A few cooking ideas for Iberico meat

Where does Iberico pork come from?

Iberico pork comes from pigs in the Iberian Peninsula, a mountainous region covering the central and southern parts of Spain and Portugal. You can find these pigs only in this area.

The Iberian pig is a very old animal that pre-existed animal domestication. Their origin can be traced back to the Neolithic Period around 12,000 years ago.

You will find Iberian pigs living in the mountains, usually in a wild environment, or in the forest close to its favorite diet of acorns, oak, and nuts.
Iberian pigs have a red to grey skin color and have very little or no hair.

What is different about Iberico meat?

Iberico meat is distinctly different than regular pig meat. When you see it raw, it almost looks like beef. The meat is red to bright red compared to regular pig meat which is white.
The game changer for the Iberico pork meat is the fat. Because of its mostly acorns diet and its genetics, Iberian pigs are able to infiltrate a lot of fat into their muscles, resulting in a more flavorful pork. On top of being high in fat, a large amount of it is unsaturated oleic fat, the same fat found in olive oil, that is said to reduce cholesterol, and is an important part of the Mediterranean diet.
When you eat Iberico pork, the marbling of fat in it makes it super tasty and delicious. The meat is more flavorful, more juicy, and very distinctive.
Furthermore, the predominantly acorn diet of the pigs give a very particular flavor to the pork You can taste a unique nutty flavor in Iberico pork which makes the meat very special. Iberico pork meat is the richest pork you can find. You won’t be able to find its flavor and succulence anywhere else.

What is the breeding process for Iberico pigs?

To make the pork taste so special, the Iberico pigs need different things. First of all, the pigs need to live in open areas in a very natural environment, and be free to run over hills and through woods, always close to the dehesas. By doing this, their muscles will develop and grow, and be able to infiltrate the fat from the acorns.

During the spring and summer months the pigs will eat grass, mushrooms, bugs, and herbs.. Then, from October to March, it is acorn season, with acorns falling from the dehesas.
Acorn is the favorite food of the Iberico pig, and it will eat a lot of them. This will increase their fat and infiltrate the taste of the acorns into their muscle.

If you would like to know more about the process, take a look at this article.

Is Iberico pork expensive?

It is from a unique breed of pig that can be only found in the Iberian peninsula. On top of that, the diet is special and the farmers who breed them have certifications that guarantee the pork quality and authenticity. Thus, Iberico pork is highly valuable and prices are a little higher than for regular pork.

Furthermore, Iberico pigs have smaller litters and yield less meat. It takes time for them to grow. Also, the production of the pork takes longer.

What cuts can I find ?

Iberico pork is like any other kind of pork. You can find all the classic pork cuts:

  • Pork belly
  • Shoulder loin
  • Shoulder steaks
  • Ribs
  • Pork rack
  • Tenderloin

The interesting thing about it is that it looks like beef because of the color, so you will think it’s a small piece of meat.

Can I bring Iberico pork into the US ?

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to bring Iberico pork from Spain into the U.S., even for personal consumption. It is considered illegal to buy it in Spain and import it into the country.
The pork has to meet American health standards, so only U.S. authorized facilities can import Iberico meat to the U.S.

Lucky for you, we are one of them! If you would like to try it out, feel free to check out our Iberico pig selection.

If you have any questions about Iberico pork feel free to ask; we will be happy to help !

A few cooking ideas for Iberico pork

Iberico pork is cooked in a similar way as regular white pork and cooking methods depend on the cut of pork you choose.
Fry it, roast it, grill it, broil it or bake it, just like regular pork. The difference is the succulent, rich taste of the finished product!

Feel free to look at this article to find a different way to cook your Iberico pork and even more information about it.

Bon appetit!

Chef Dish with Tenderloin

Home made dish with Pluma

Chef appetizer with cured Belly