In the province of Huelva there is a variety of Iberian pig included with differentiated character in the Official Catalog of Cattle Races of Spain and in danger of extinction (the Spotted Jabugo). For what, for some years, the Sierra de Jabugo Group, is betting on its upbringing, in some of the dehesas available in the Sierra de Huelva.
The origin of this peculiar variety of pigs is from the beginning of the 19th century, from the crossing of blond Iberian pigs and retintos, with samples of Large White and English Berkshire. That later, these animals were crossed with other Iberian pigs and among themselves, so their genetic and morphological characteristics are considered a variety of Iberian pig.
The name of Manchado de Jabugo, is because of the irregular black scattered spots that appear on his body. There are two varieties:
- The retina, its spots are irregular in size, shape and location, with a clear and well defined outline.
- The white dirty or rockrose, in this variety animals can appear areas of white skin and irregular black spots, in certain regions of the body and at the end of the extremities, which makes some have a white hoof.
The factors for which the ranchers began to reject this variety of this Iberian, which had been linked to the Sierra de Huelva, to its parties, customs, as well as to the homemade slaughters, etc. They were two:
- Its low productivity, since farmers had to have more patience and spend more time growing and fattening (take at least 24 months to develop) slower due to its extreme purity. If I say, that litters are less piglets (the average is four instead of six, compared to the Iberian black variety or retinta.
- The white color of the hooves, which, being not always black, but discolored, left the commercial “norm” that identifies the black paw with the Iberian and the quality, of a generalized belief that real, because not all Iberian pigs have a black hoof, not all those that have it are Iberian.
The purity and qualities are exceptional of this variety of Iberian “old, rustic and adapted to the environment of the dehesas of the Sierras de Jabugo”. For what it deserves a special recognition to its meats and noble pieces, like hams and shoulders, are an extraordinary quality.