Can Iberian ham grow in Texas?
Iberian ham—real Iberian ham—comes from blackfoot pigs who have spent their lives gorging themselves on acorns in oak-shaded pastures on the Iberian peninsula. The Portuguese and Spanish specialty is aged for three years, then sold at eye-popping prices around the world. Sound like an industry ripe for disruption? Perhaps, The Guardian reports. Two new companies in Texas and Georgia have begun importing blackfoots and fattening them up on pecans, peanuts, and sunflower seeds with the intention of marketing the product as—you guessed it—”Ibericus meat” or “jamón ibérico Americano.” A Spanish “ham industry consultant” quoted in the story is furious, claiming that the American ham will steal market share from their Spanish counterparts, and also that a pig fed peanuts can’t possibly taste as good as one that guzzled acorns. If you give a hog a cookie ….