LE NOIR DE BIGORRE - AN OUTSTANDING HAM Ancestral breed from the Pyrenean plateau, the Porc Noir almost disappeared in the 80’s. But a bunch of « Noir enthusiasts » worked to preserve this unique breed. Its creamy marbled meat is now prized by both gourmets and famous chefs. Perfect example of a slow food product, the black pig is one of the best European hams. We are certainly very proud of maturing and working this delicate and exceptional outstanding ham. A little bit of history The relation between black pigs and Bigorre dates back to the XIth century, when Benedictine monks founded numerous abbeys in the area and developed the production and breeding of this animal – especially suited for this specific environment. Porc Noir de Bigorre Black Pigs are ramblers with thin and short legs and a soft poise. They are perfectly suited for the life in this mountainous area. They are strong and resilient animals and they can stand significant weather changes and food deprivation because of their capacity to stock lipids whenever they can eat. Feeding Black pigs eat pasture grass, additional food (such as wheat, oat, barley, rye and triticale from the region) as well as fruits, acorn, chestnut, apple and others. Salting We cure our pigs with hand-applied mineral salts from Salies de Béarn. Our experts apply a minimal dose of salt allowing a soft salting that won’t attack this specific meat (dark red, melting, juicy, soft and tasty). It will however exhaust its best flavors and savors. Drying and maturing Our drying rooms are located in the Pyrenean piedmont, right in the heart of the Bigorre region. Around every three days in Autumn and Spring, the area is ruffled by dry winds alternating with a wet and stormy weather coming from the ocean. This specific climate is decisive for the drying of the Noir de Bigorre. Our cellars are set with windows allowing the winds to meet inside of the room, caressing the hams for at least 2 years and up to 36 months for our best products. Flavour Our Noir de Bigorre is meltingly soft. Our expertise and our patience allow to reveal the subtle yet strong savors of nuts and chestnuts from the undergrowth in Bigorre. All our hams are branded with the NB stamp and our number « 1 » attesting their quality and origins.