From the pig abattoir to the plate

“This contains images that you might find disturbing”


I have been learning about all the processes a pig goes through before landing on our plates. After a number of hiccups, including being thrown out of the abattoir twice, a detailed photo study of many of these stages is now mostly finished. What started out as yet another little story for my blog is not so little anymore. It has taken on a life of its own, and also a working title, “From the farm to the plate – the journey of a Spanish pig”.

Originally it was called “From the abattoir to the plate”. That sounds more catchy, but as I have decided to follow the entire journey, it is no longer strictly accurate. By starting at the farm (this to come) and progressing past the bloody core of this project, through the shop, then kitchen and finally onto the plate, I hope to shift the focus to something more balanced and understandable. This is not only for those with squeamish tummies, but also to take away that sensationalist angle that is so easy to latch onto.

I will be posting and updating photos here as and when. I do realize that the subject matter is very sensitive, but having spent a considerable amount of time in the butcher’s shop and the “matadero” with the “carniceros”, I am very impressed with the cleanliness and the humaneness of the operation from beginning to end, but in particular at the abattoir. There were no screaming pigs as I had written about in a previous post. In fact I now wondered whether I had been the victim of a rather over-active imagination. Additionally, so thoroughly are the animals bled, plucked and boiled that I am surprised any nutrition is left in them at all.

In the past I have been prone to eye trotters and offal with its related products somewhat suspiciously. Sausages could make me quite queasy, not to mention black pudding and those large cured hams you see standing unprotected in Spanish bars, a knife at the ready besides them. I would not say that I am entirely comfortable with pork in all its forms yet, but I am definitely more reassured as regards a pig’s ability to kill me. Irony intended by the way, for of course it is man who does the killing, and I swear that the pigs I photographed in the holding pen of the abattoir looked at me all knowing…

With a big thanks to Rufino for allowing me unrestricted access to his first-rate shop “Embutidos Centelles” – elaboracion artesana, Avenida Castello 1, Tel 964370062


One Comment

  1. Harvey

    great pics! make me hungry!

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