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Someone's hogging the tourism spotlight in Spain
Adam Tan, en route a food coma, October 1, 2013
 

TAKING a roadtrip to look at pigs might not sound an obvious attraction for the average holidaymaker – especially if they have to travel to Europe to do it.

 

But the animals in question are not any old porkers; they are the ancient autochthonous Iberico variety that produces one of the most tasty titbits in a country with an ever-growing international reputation for its food.

 

Now, banking on the growth in ‘foodie’ tourism, Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture has started promoting 'Iberico ham routes' to guide tourists through some of the lesser-known parts of three regions: Castilla y León, Andalucía and Extremadura.

 

Just like the wines of Spain, the mountain air-dried, uncooked hams have their own Denomination of Origin certification to guarantee where they come from and how they are produced and cured.

 

Apart from enabling tourists to check out the lengthy curing process, the route also introduces them to historic towns and villages where Iberico pigs have roamed huge tree-shaded pastures, known as dehesas, for centuries.

 

Plus, of course, there will be lists of recommended restaurants and bars where visitors can, well...make pigs of themselves, savouring the ham and other delicious foods and wines from the regions.

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