Yucatán Peninsula Hairless Pig

Slow Food Presidium

Mexico

Yucatán

Breeds and animal husbandry

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Yucatán Peninsula Hairless Pig

The Mexican hairless pig breed, black and with large, pointed ears, has been reared for more than five centuries on the Yucatán Peninsula. The Spanish conquistadors introduced Celtic pigs (Sus celticus) from the European boar family, Iberian pigs (Sus mediterraneus) and Asian pigs (Sus vittatus). These breeds produced a genotype with very valuable characteristics, which over time have adapted well to the local conditions. Because this new breed developed within isolated and primarily rural production systems, its genetic heritage has been preserved to the present day.
For hundreds of years, the Mayans raised these pigs (known locally as t’ooroch k’eek’een, “hairless pig” in the Mayan language), allowing them to graze freely and supplementing their diet with food scraps. These hardy animals are tolerant of the tropical climate, skilled at walking on the peninsula’s rocky terrain, resistant to diseases and able to feed on a wide variety of foods. Farming the hairless pigs has a low environmental impact—they graze outdoors and do not contaminate the groundwater—and traditional Mayan practices respect the precepts of animal welfare.
In the last decades of the 20th century the breed was largely replaced by the faster-growing American pig, and came close to extinction. Since the beginning of the new century, some organizations have developed initiatives for its revival, recreating the conditions for its farming and for the use of its meat in the local diet.
The intensely flavored pork is low in fat and is used in many typical dishes of the Yucatán Peninsula, like cochinita pibil (pork wrapped in plantain leaves and baked in an underground earth oven), pork and beans and poc chuc (marinated and cooked over charcoal). It is also used for the “dance of the pig’s head,” performed once a year to summon rain.

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Cerdo pelón de la península de Yucatán

De color negro, sin pelo, y con grandes orejas, el cerdo pelón mexicano es una raza que inició su crianza hace más de cin- co siglos en el territorio que hoy es la península de Yucatán. Durante cientos de años los mayas han criado estos cerdos al libre pastoreo y complementando su alimentación con restos de comida. Son animales rústicos por su tolerancia al clima tropical, tienen aptitud para caminar en terrenos pedregosos, resistencia a enfermedades y capacidad de aprovechar una amplia variedad de alimentos. Una gran va- riedad de platillos típicos de la península de Yucatán provie- nen de este cerdo, cuya carne tiene un sabor intenso y con poca grasa, como la cochinita pibil, frijol con puerco pelón y el poc chuc. Es utilizada también en ceremonias religiosas como el “Baile de la cabeza de cochino” que se realiza una vez al año para invocar el periodo de lluvias para las milpas.

El Baluarte está conformado por 11 grupos de productores del sur-oriente del Estado de Yucatán que trabajan con la organización El Hombre Sobre la Tierra A.C. (HST), un grupo interdisciplinario de profesionistas y promotores locales que bus- can impulsar el aprovechamiento sustentable de los recursos naturales, fomentar la diversificación estratégica de la economía local y crear condiciones que forta- lezcan la identidad sociocultural en Yucatán. Los productores, en colaboración con HST, crían cerdos pelones es al libre pastoreo, siguiendo las tradiciones ancestrales de sus abuelos. El Baluarte ha nacido en el 2016 en el marco del proyecto “Slow Yucatán”, un conjunto de actividades que apuestan a implementar un sistema de producción y consumo de alimentos sostenible que mejore el nivel de vida de las comunidades indígenas mayas y traiga beneficios económicos, culturales, sociales y de salud de la región. El fin del Baluarte es de apoyar a los productores a tener un producto con envase, etiqueta y contenido nutricional para poder posicionarse en el mercado a un mejor precio.

Productores
48 productores del sur-oriente del Estado de Yucatán, adherentes a la asociación El Hombre Sobre la Tierra A.C.

Baluarte apoyado por
Kellogg Foundation
El Hombre Sobre la Tierra A.C.

En colaboración con
Comida Lenta A.C.
Slow Food Yucatán

Responsables del Baluarte
Sigismondo Lucidi Mascarin
tel. +52 1 9991503556 info@elhombresobrelatierra.org Responsable Slow Food Aliza Mizrahi Perkulis
tel. +52 1 9991630176 amizrahi_9@hotmail.com
The Presidium unites 48 producers from the southeastern part of the state of Yucatán who collaborate with the El Hombre Sobre la Tierra (HST) as- socia- tion. HST is an interdisciplinary group of professionals and promoters who work for the sustainable development of natural resources in Yucatán, di- versifying economic activities in rural areas and strengthening socio-cultural identity. In col- laboration with HST, the producers raise the hairless pigs, allowing them to graze freely, following the traditions of their ancestors. The Presidium was started in 2016 as part of the Slow Yucatán project, which promotes a sustainable system of food production and consumption in or- der to improve the life of indigenous Mayan communities and bring them economic, cultural, social and health ben- efits. The Presidium’s main aim is to promote access to a more profitable market through the improvement of meat-processing techniques and the support of the local and national Slow Food network.

Production area
Various communities in the Tixcacalcupul, Chankom, Tinum, Yaxcabá, Chikindzonot and Tekóm municipalities, Yucatán state

Presidium supported by
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
El Hombre Sobre la Tierra A.C.

In collaboration with
Slow Food Yucatán
48 producers belonging to the El Hombre Sobre la Tierra association
Coordinator
Angela Petruso
Tel. +52 (999) 927 0719
apetruso@gmail.com
www.elhombresobrelatierra.org

Coordinator
Wilen Edver Chay Un
wilenedver@hotmail.com
The Presidium unites 48 producers from the southeastern part of the state of Yucatán who collaborate with the El Hombre Sobre la Tierra (HST) as- socia- tion. HST is an interdisciplinary group of professionals and promoters who work for the sustainable development of natural resources in Yucatán, di- versifying economic activities in rural areas and strengthening socio-cultural identity. In col- laboration with HST, the producers raise the hairless pigs, allowing them to graze freely, following the traditions of their ancestors. The Presidium was started in 2016 as part of the Slow Yucatán project, which promotes a sustainable system of food production and consumption in or- der to improve the life of indigenous Mayan communities and bring them economic, cultural, social and health ben- efits. The Presidium’s main aim is to promote access to a more profitable market through the improvement of meat-processing techniques and the support of the local and national Slow Food network.

Production area
Various communities in the Tixcacalcupul, Chankom, Tinum, Yaxcabá, Chikindzonot and Tekóm municipalities, Yucatán state

Presidium supported by
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
El Hombre Sobre la Tierra A.C.

In collaboration with
Slow Food Yucatán
48 producers belonging to the El Hombre Sobre la Tierra association
Coordinator
Angela Petruso
Tel. +52 (999) 927 0719
apetruso@gmail.com
www.elhombresobrelatierra.org

Coordinator
Wilen Edver Chay Un
wilenedver@hotmail.com

Territory

StateMexico
RegionYucatán

Other info

CategoriesBreeds and animal husbandry