Firstly, in the istrian inner land’s households, people used to farm just one pig at a time (not dozens like elsewhere, and in that areas the pigs were never brought to pasture), which reached unusual size and weight. The pig was supposed to feed the whole family with meat, and especially with the lard, all year long. Believe it or not, that pig had regularly cooked meals based on a mixture of various vegetables, together with chaff or meal flour and every kind of stuff found in the house.
The pumpkin and the beet were planted exclusively for the pig, and various herbs were also collected in springtime. During the last months before the slaughtering, the pig was intensively fattened with maize, to further augment its weight. That is also the reason for the first recognizing mark of the istrian ham – it is enormously big. And for that reason, it is particularly succulent.
The slaughtering of the pig was a day long ritual, a reason for family gathering and for festivity.