Flora & Fauna

This little piggy . . . . . .

Introducing the wonderful Iberian pig

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 ibéricowhen 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!

16 comments on “This little piggy . . . . . .

  1. Pingback: Nightingales in the Pomegranate Trees | It caught my eye in Portugal

  2. Great shots. We have that rhyme in the US and it is generally while counting on a baby or small child’s toes. Is it the same in the UK? Lisbon is on my list in the next year. Can’t wait.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes exactly the same and you tickle up the leg with the final line 😀

      Lisboa is fabulous. Stunning views, wonderful things to do and surprisingly reasonable for a capital city. Do watch your bags/purses though when on the trams….like Barcelona there are very skilled pickpockets.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Never thought of myself as a pig farmer but perhaps I could be tempted, Becky. 🙂 🙂
    Coincidentally a Monarch ad for Porto came into my Inbox today. I’ve skimmed through and it seems pretty sound so here’s the link http://blog.monarch.co.uk/a-jam-packed-long-weekend-in-porto/?cid=CR_EM:HOL:Tactical:Outbound:DestinationOfTheWeek:
    I can endorse the Bolsa Palace and a tram ride out to Foz de Douro is a must, and I’m sure you’ll go port tasting. A train ride along the Douro is well worth doing too. Not sure if the boats back will be operating at this time of year but that was my favourite thing. The locks are immense! It’s a great city and I know you’ll love it. Find the bookshop from the Harry Potter film too! Opposite the Clerigo Tower. No time to hunt you out stuff as we’re off to Anglesey tomorrow. Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The piglets are adorable. I’ll look forward to your Oporto photos, it looks beautiful for the photos I’ve seen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are wonderful aren’t they 😀 and you could see their personalities coming through.

      And i look forward to sharing Oporto with you ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the piggies, the stripey ones are so cute, and I like how you’re incorporated the rhyme in the photos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The stripey ones are SO cute! Nice to know they really do have a good life. Enjoy Lisbon, a city I loved and would happily return to and there are not too many cities I say that about. Never been to Oporto but have it ‘on the list’ so I look forward to your posts and photos from that region. See you later!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are adorable aren’t they. I so wanted to pick one up and carry it home!!!

      I agree with you on cities, Lisboa is definitely one of the few. We’re so glad to be back. Have a feeling Oporto might be the same – watch this space 😎

      Liked by 1 person

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