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Turre, pig

The black Canarian pig is a robust pig of medium size and docile character that has the average weight of the species (130-160 kg). Scaly skin with folds. It is black in color – hence its name – and some specimens show spots on various parts of the body. The head is small and its ears are long and drooping, while its legs are short and thin. They usually give birth twice a year, about twelve offspring per year more or less per specimen. This breed is native to the Canary Islands and its products are very well accepted by the local population and visitors. He is currently in the process of recovery.

According to the studies that have been carried out on this species, this animal has been present since the time of the aboriginal Canary Islanders, being a valuable resource for meat and various utensils. Originally, this breed probably came from North Africa and the one known and maintained in the Islands today has undergone numerous crosses over the years with other breeds introduced by the colonizers. The Canary Island black pig was on the verge of extinction until a recovery program was developed on La Palma, which has resulted in the specimens that exist today. It is included in the Official Catalog of Livestock Breeds of Spain as a breed of special protection. Although it is more present on the islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Palma, this native breed is adapted to all the islands where it is currently present.

Black pig meat is a highly valued meat by the Canary Islanders, especially the famous chicharrones, (fried pork rinds that can be covered with gofio). In the past, it was an important source of protein and fat in times of scarcity.

Currently, the breeding of this animal, which is more expensive than its cousin the white pig, has an important price, which is compensated by the exquisiteness of the meat of the Canary black pig, today considered a gourmet product.

The Canarian black pig is also known as “turre”, which in the dictionary of Canarianisms we can find it defined as:

Turre _1. Fv., GC., Tf. and LP. Voice used to scare away the pig.

It is striking that popularly it is given a name that means to move away, when what we really want is to bring it as close as possible to our table!

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