Creole Black Pig

Ark of taste
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Creole Black Pig is found in various areas of Ecuador, though usually in small herds. This is a medium sized pig, with dark skin and a dark black coat. The length of the hair depends on the climate of the area in which the animals live. Their hooves are long and narrow, a characteristic that allows this animal to be a good forager. The females give birth once per year, from three to five piglets, which are weaned by the mother of a long period of milking that can last up to five months. These animals can be left to roam on their own or tied with a cord, which allows them to be moved around in the fields. Some breeders are also experimenting with mobile fences to move around their fields, so as to use these pigs, which are lively and resistant, as a sort of natural tractor, since they loosen the ground as they walk while fertilizing it at the same time.

All pigs in Ecuador descend from those that were imported during the Spanish colonial era. In many cases they have been cross-bred, though some breeders have preferred to maintain a pure race of Creole Black pigs to safeguard their best features: resistance, liveliness, hardiness, low maintenance costs, and the flavor and quality of their meat. These animals are easily raised in pastures and are extremely resistant to the heat. The use of their meat is traditionally associated with traditional holidays and rituals, though over the past few years consumption has increased, especially during the weekend. Every part of the pig is used: skin, meat, bones, and innards. There are dozens of traditional dishes associated with this animal: from chicharrones, to hornado, cecinas de Loja, carne colorada di Cotacachi, to barbosa de Azuay. Another traditional dish, the fritada, is usually made with a base of Creole Black Pig meat that is slowly boiled with onions and garlic.

In the past these pigs were raised both in the country and in the city. Due to the advent of oil based enterprises in the 1970s, urban expansion, and new health laws, the urban raising of these pigs diminished significantly. Today there are only a few rural communities that raise Creole Black pigs and there are no accurate estimates as to their current numbers. The presence of this kind of meat on the market is quite scarce. The breed is at risk of disappearing because people prefer the white race of pig that descends from Yorkshires, which are leaner and more suitable for industrial raising.

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