In freedom What is the montanera and what is its importance?

Every process has an end and there is also in pig farming. The term montanera refers to the last phase of breeding the Iberian pig and consists of letting the pig graze freely in the dehesa, where it gains weight by feeding on the acorns of holm oaks, cork oaks and other trees of the family. quercus.

This period extends from October to February, coinciding with the optimal period of maturation of the acorn. If the rainy season has been generous in water, the pigs will spend the day walking on an irregular surface full of acorns and fresh grass.

During their stay in the dehesa, the pigs lead a quiet and pleasant life, busy with only two activities: exercising in search of food and sleeping. Having a lot of land at your disposal to meet quality standards.

It should be noted that the importance does not lie only in food, but also in the daily exercise they do. Being free, pigs travel around 12-15 km per day. This ensures that their meat is of higher quality, since at the same time that they get fat, the infiltration of fat occurs in their lean meats.

What is its importance?

Did you know that during the montanera, Iberian pigs consume between six and ten kilos of acorns and one kilo of fresh pasture per day?

This type of diet influences the flavor, the texture of the hams, and the properties of the fatty acids of the acorn-fed ham. In fact, acorn-fed ham is the only meat product capable of providing us with oleic acid, which is so beneficial for our cardiovascular health.

The acorn, which contains almost as much oleic acid as the olive, allows healthy fatty acids to accumulate between the muscles of the 100% Iberian acorn-fed ham. These very special fatty acids are the ones that will allow the subsequent almost magical evolution in natural dryers, in some cases lasting up to 5 years.

If there were no montanera phase, there would be no 100% Iberian acorn-fed ham. The feeding of the animals would be based solely on cereals and more or less industrial feed, and as a consequence it would be a lower quality meat, since the healthy composition derived from the acorn would not be achieved.

During the montanera, our Iberian pigs live peacefully touring the meadow and without skimping on good food. This process translates into excellent quality products such as the acorn-fed Iberian ham that we offer at Iberian Reserve .

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