Montanera is a magic word for Cinco Jotas. It’s the season when acorns fall from the trees in the Spanish meadows, providing nutritious, natural food for our pigs. This magic is an essential part of our perpetual journey to achieve the highestquality ham possible. Our Iberian pigs understand this magic as they live out their free-range lives. From about end of October until the month of March they live in the open air in their preferred paradise of choice, enjoying all the acorns they can eat.
Talking about montanera means, of course, talking about acorns. It’s the main sustance of a 100%-natural diet that Cinco Jotas Iberian pigs enjoy during these fruitful months. They are empowered to select the sweetest, most appetizing acorns during their long walks through the Spanish meadows
So, why do they love acorns so much?
The acorns is the fruit that grows on the four species of trees in the Spanish meadows: holm, gall, cork and valley oaks. The first two are the most essential. Not only are the holm and gall oaks the most populous “quercus” species, but also the Iberian pigs prefer their acorns because they are the sweetest.
These two trees are burly, strong, resistant to the heat of summer and low temperatures of winter, always with firm branches full of green leaves. Its acorns are quite palatable to the Iberian pigs' palate, but they also play a crucial role in the healthy development of these animals. The acorns are rich in carbohydrates, which are easily transformed into healthy fats, resulting in a gradual increase in the weight of the pig. Acorns also provide nutrients such as starch, sugars, fat, vitamin C and carotenes, all in significant amounts
During the montanera season, Iberian pigs can consume between 7 and 8 kilograms of acorns a day, strolling about 12 kilometers every day in the vast spanse of the Spanish meadows. This critical combination of acorn ingestion and daily exercise is one of the keys of the Cinco Jotas acorn-fed 100% ibérico ham: infiltration of fat into the muscles of the animal, which gives rise to the textures and unique flavours of our hams and other meats.
The influence of acorns on the Iberian pig diet goes even further, to the actual taste and aroma of a slice of Cinco Jotas ham. Acorns are, in large part, responsible for the unique multi-sensory experience of this product: they contribute to a very subtle and delicate nuance of acorns and roasted hazelnuts, combined with an array of subtle sweet notes. All this we experience while the ham slice and its healthy fats slowly melts in the mouth for a luxurious explosión of flavour and texture