Pig Food

acorns

Pigs living under the oaks of Cadiz can put away 15-20lbs of acorns a day. And then they are turned into jamón ibérico de bellota. Sounds brutal, but the pigs look happy (for a bit) and the jamón is good. So good in fact that most of it stays in bars in Spain (trotters to the rafters on stands), with little spared for export. Travelling back down the food chain, the sweet acorns are surprisingly good too. You can’t visit anyone in the campo without having them stuff your pockets with them. They’re quite good raw – with a chestnut texture and flavour – but there’s a strong risk of snapping your teeth off in the effort to crack through the springy casing. On the advice of the baker, I tried roasting them – and then sat back and watched through the glass of the wood-burner as they exploded and ricocheted off the sides with loud pings. I know they can be roasted, ground up and turned into coffee, but I’m not that desperate to live off the land.

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