Inaugural cuts of famous Spanish pork arrive in U.S.
Bellota Importers, the only retail and wholesale distributor of raw Iberico de Bellota in the U.S., today announced its first shipment for the 2010 season is in America for sale to the food service industry and general public.
Iberico de Bellota raw pork comes from the legendary purebred heritage Iberico pig which feeds on acorns - known as "bellota" - during the peak fattening season, known as the "Montanera," from December to March.
As the last free ranging pigs in Europe, Iberico pigs, popularly known as pata negra, or black hoof, roam in the dehesa, an indigenous forest of southwestern Spain eating acorns as well as mushrooms and herbs. This pig's special diet infuses the pork with a buttery, nutty flavour. The breed's ability to store extremely high levels of monounsaturated fats in its dense muscle tissue - a trait unique to the Iberian breed of pig -- also makes the meat tender and produces heart healthy benefits.
Introduction of pork cuts
In 2009, raw Iberico de Bellota chuletero (loin) cuts were introduced in the U.S. for the first time. The limited seasonal supply of this world-renowned pork quickly sold out as word spread Iberico de Bellota was available. For 2010 Bellota Importers has expanded its wholesale/retail product line to include cuts that never have been sold in the U.S. before: Carrilleras (cheeks), Costilla (spare ribs), Panceta (belly - rind on), and Tocino de Cuello (fat back). Bellota Importers also will have available the following additional new cuts unique to the Iberico breed: Pluma (a cut from the shoulder section of the loin), Presa de Paleta (shoulder steak), and Secreto o Cruceta (between the shoulder, ribs, and fatback).
"In eating Iberico de Bellota, you get the best of both worlds," says Bill Fuchs, owner of Bellota Importers. "You get meat that's not only succulent and flavourful but has high levels of HDL or "good" cholesterol. In Spain they call Iberico de Bellota pigs 'olive trees with legs' because they provide high levels of HDL cholesterol."
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