The white pig is a breed of pig, which apart from the Iberian pig, also serves to make a ham of excellent quality, specifically the one known as Gran Reserva ham or dry cured ham.
Everything that is not an Iberian pig is known as a white pig, although there are other breeds such as the Duroc pig that are used for crossing with the Iberian pig.
Characteristics of the white pig
In order to talk about the characteristics of the white pig we must talk about the Iberian pig, since by making a comparison we can better understand these differences.
As for the physical aspect, the white pig is usually bigger while the Iberian pig has a much more stylized figure due to the exercise it does during its development.
As far as breeding is concerned, the Iberian pig can only be found in the Iberian Peninsula while the white pig can be found in any other geographical location.
As is well known, the Iberian pig destined to the production of Iberian acorn-fed ham, roam in freedom in the pastures where in addition to exercising it feeds on acorns. Non-Iberian pigs, on the other hand, live on farms, where they are reared intensively.
Their diet is based on enriched feed and as they do not have enough space to move, their legs are usually short and their hooves are hardly worn.
Thanks to the image we can clearly see that the physical differences between the two animals are obvious. The products made from these pigs, in particular the ham, are usually called Gran Reserva ham or cured ham and are called by different names depending on how long they are cured:
- Bodega Ham – 9 months of curing
- Reserva or Añejo – 12 months
- Gran reserva – 15 months
As a curious fact we tell you that 90% of the hams that are sold come from white pigs, and only 10% of those sold are Iberian.