The breed of the black Alentejano pig is appreciated world-wide for being authentic and very special.
The breed of the black Alentejano pig descends from the Iberian or Roman line of the southern wild boar (sus mediterraneus). Up to the beginning of the 20th century there were two big populations of indigenous pigs, the nordic (Celtic) celtas and the mediterranean iberian pigs. Both populations were not only genetically different, they lived in very different habitats as well. The celtas lived in the North-Western groves with a moderate climate typical for the Atlantic coasts. Here they could eat grass, herbs and roots all year round, plus wild fruits like chestnuts in autumn. The Iberian pigs lived in the south and south west in mediterranean bushland with cork and holm oaks where they found acorns in winter, plenty of grass in spring but hardly any nutrition in summer and the beginning of autumn. These different habitats created two very different breeds. The different nutritional habits of the county people further developed the differences. The celtas were used more for fresh meat or sausages and the iberian´s meat was processed into more durable products like bacon.
Today the black Alentejano pig is very important for the nutrition of the Portuguese people. The traditional extensive way of farming, using the natural resources of the oak groves is exemplary for bio-farming. This is how modern livestock raising should be: technically advanced, economically feasable, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly. Today, there is an increase of interest in these products and in the conservation of the breed.