Year after year, at FISAN we put all our enthusiasm into the development of our bellota Ibérico pigs’ life in the dehesa during this period.
WHAT IS THE MONTANERA?
From one holm oak to the next, eating their favourite delicacy: bellotas. A key stage in the bellota Ibérico pig’s life.
Holm oaks start to bloom in May and their flower turns yellowish during the Ibérico dehesas’ hot summers. With the arrival of autumn, holm oaks start to bear their fruit and the bellotas begin to sprout, their colour is green-yellowish at first, and turns wood-like brown afterwards. The first fruit starts to fall in October and the montanera begins.
The montanera is the period during which the bellota Ibérico pigs freely roam the dehesa exclusively feeding on bellotas, grass, fruit, roots, and other natural resources available on the field until they double their weight over little more than two or three months. But what makes them cover around 14 km a day is the search for their favourite delicacy: bellotas. And they can eat amounts of up to 9 kg a day of this fruit, which is rich in fibre, complex carbohydrates, oleic acid, vitamins, and minerals.
The Quality Standard* establishes that the latest pigs that can be qualified as ‘Bellota’, must start their montanera before 15 December so that they can have enough time to enjoy the bellotas and reach their slaughtering weight before 31 March. Thus, the montanera period runs for about two years, beginning in autumn and ending with the arrival of Spring of the following years, when there are no bellotas left on the dehesa’s ground. Hence, we always refer to the montanera mentioning two years, “2021-2022 Montanera” so that there is no doubt about the period it covers.
MONTANERA AND BELLOTA PRODUCTS
The conditions under which each montanera takes place, determine the characteristics of the bellota Ibérico pork in its preparation phase to obtain the creaminess, texture, and aroma that are particular to FISAN bellota products.
FISAN DOUBLE MONTANERA
The FISAN Double Montanera turns a difficult montanera into a complete success.
At FISAN, the montanera is characterized by the fact that each of our bellota Ibérico pigs enjoys 3 hectares, which is twice the 1.5 hectares that are stipulated as required in the Ibérico Quality Standard* for each pig to be eligible for the ‘Bellota’ category.
Accordingly, at FISAN we make sure that all our pigs can enjoy optimum quality bellotas, completing their fattening period during the montanera. The number of holm oaks available is crucial to the proper feeding of bellota Ibérico pigs.