Often the Nebrodi woods (50 thousand hectares of beech and oak trees, mostly inside a natural park) are fenced in by very high nets, and it is enough to approach them when a small herd of pigs is roosting nearby, to understand the reason. In fact, these animals – much more similar to wild boars in their features and habits – have nothing tame or domestic about them.
Small in size and with a dark coat (a characteristic of the autochthonous Italian pig breeds), the Neri dei Nebrodi pigs are reared in a semi-wild and wild state in large areas used for grazing: only in conjunction with the births is food supplementation used.
Frugal and resistant, this breed in the last years has seen a considerable reduction in the number of the heads (at present we can presumably estimate the presence of about 2000 animals). Breeders have very small farms and, in most cases, they are also processors. Their products, however, rarely reach the market: destined for family consumption or the object of small local exchanges.
All norcine specialties of Sicily are concentrated in this north-eastern area of the island: fellata salami, Nebrodi sausage, salami, capocolli and bacon.
At one time they were all produced with black swine, today the situation is more confused: many pork butchers, in fact, are forced to buy hybrid swine from industrial farms.
However, all the comparative tastings prove that products made with meat from black pigs raised in the wild have a much higher aromatic intensity and are more suited to long aging. Of course black pig meat – in its various cuts – can also be eaten fresh.
The importance and protection of the breeding technique, the particularity of these pigs and the territory in which they are raised were the decisive elements that led to the creation of the Presidium.
The extinction of this breed of pig (one of the few surviving in Italy) would be a serious loss for the genetic heritage, but also and above all for the local economy and for gastronomic pleasure: the Nebrodi black pig, in fact, offers meat of the highest quality.
The Presidium has brought together a group of breeders and pork butchers and promotes the rich and varied range of traditional pork products from this area: capocollo, fresh and dried sausage, salami known as fellata, pancetta, but recently the Presidium has also begun to produce excellent hams.
Uliana Borrello, Sinagra (Me), Contrada Forte, Tel.+39 0941 594433 / +39 393 9122275, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cooperativa Locale Naturamica, di Eric Fabio, Longi (Me), Tel. +39 366 1474182, email@example.com
Fattoria del Bosco, di Antonino Borrello, Sinagra (Me), Contrada Forte, Tel. +39 0941 594436 / +39
333 1690200 / +39 328 3632513, firstname.lastname@example.org
La Paisanella, di Agostino Sebastiano Ninone, Mirto (Me), Via San Rocco 15, Tel +39 0941 919403 / +39 334 1892003
Testalonganero, di Mario Carcione, Galati Mamertino (Me), Via Risorgimento 17, Tel. +39 347 8638515, email@example.com