Thursday, September 27, 2012

jamón de bellota

Pork farmers (and beef farmers for that matter) talk a lot about what their animals are 'finished' on. What an animals eats certainly affects the taste of the meat. My five little piggies spent the first few months turning a 'jungle' of a patch into a rock pile: eating grass, roots, small trees and shrubs, and anything else they could root up! They are also fed certified organic grain to provide the protein and nutrients they need in order to get up to market weight. And, of course, all manner of scraps from the kitchen and the garden.
I recently learned about acorn-finished pork. (Here is another more farmer-like source) I also recently learned about 'mast years' in native trees (this year seems to be one in our area.

This past Tuesday I spotted a road-side collection of acorns and had to pull over! Luckily, I had a roasting pan in the car (?!). I have been portioning out the acorns to make them last a bit longer (the pigs can be such, well PIGS!). One of our students, Galen, snapped this photo of a post-snack nap. Five perfectly packaged sausages!

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