Hello ! My name is Gonçalo Pereira Miguel and today ill be talking about My Traineeship at Herdade de São Luis – Porcus Natura.
Herdade de São Luis – Porcus natura is a 700 hectare farm located in the Mountain of Monfurado, next to the village of Santiago do Escoural, Evora . In this region called alentejo there is a special ecosystem called Montado , it is a Man-designed agrosilvopastoral system ,what makes this ecosystem unique is that it integrates Agricultural production,Forest mainly composed by Cork Oak at Holm oak and home to wildlife species like the Iberian lynx,Iberian Boar and many others. .At the farm I was placed one of the main products was the black alentejano pig , widely mis confused with the Iberian pig, a similar breed from the neighboring country Spain. The Alentejano breed is pure-bred in Portugal since olden times. Alentejo with its Montado ecosystem, with Cork trees, Oaks and holm oaks offers excellent conditions for breeding these pigs because of the acorns that fall to the ground from these tree species.
The black Alentejano pig is kept in absolute freedom for 18 to 24 months grazing in the Montado forest and fields, two to three hours every day it is looking for acorns and pasture, travelling distances and therefore building muscle. In a holistic grazing system pigs have nose rings so that they can’t forage the ground and destroy the fields.
During the fattening-up phase it eats mainly acorns, eating 7 to 10 kg per day, putting on a kilogram of weight every day until it weighs about 160 kg. Acorns are rich in oleic acids which give the meat its incomparable taste and unique fragrance. In bad acorn years producers buy acorns and spread them around the fields close to the trees or feed them acorn flour or even cereal flours.
The breed of the black Alentejano pig descends from the Iberian or Roman line of the southern wild boar.
A hereditary condition of the black pig causes more fat to be integrated into their meat, a property that has been maintained as there was no cross-breeding with other breeds. This explains the mottling of the meat, its succulence, consistency and its incomparable taste and unique smell.
One of the world’s most expensive ham (Presunto in Portuguese) comes from this breed, as the top brand sells it for 500 EUR per Kg.
Gonçalo Pereira Miguel – 2nd year SOF