Texas is making its mark on swine dining.
Acornseekers, a farm just west of Flatonia, is home to nearly 700 pure ibérico pigs – a black-hooved breed from a Spanish bloodline that can be traced back to before Roman times. Famous for their acorn-centric diet, the purebred ibérico pigs are responsible for the pork delicacy jamón ibérico.
Chuck Blount, a food columnist with the San Antonio Express-News, says that the first ibérico pigs arrived from overseas about four years ago, after disease in Spain had devastating effects on both the pigs and the region’s acorn-producing trees. Imports from Spain stopped and Texas, where live oak trees produce the acorns the pigs like, was chosen as a new home for the livestock.
Thus, American-produced “Ibericus” pork was born.
The high-end nature of the product may create some barriers, but Blount says Acornseekers is working to create a market for the Spanish delicacy here in the U.S.
“What they’re starting out with is they know that they have a high-end product,” Blount says. “They know that some of the restaurants probably can’t afford to keep that kind of meat in their supply, but they have done a good job of getting the word out.”
Written by Lila Weatherly.