The name ‘Mora’ has been deposited in 1942. The ‘Mora Romagnola’ can be easily recognised by its brown, nearly black, fur, hence its name.
The Mora Romagnola has a distinctive elongated body, is about 80 cms high (the sow is higher than the boar) and when adult can weigh up to 250/300 kg. It has an elongated straight head and long ears covering the snout; the boars have very long fangs.
- Strong wildness
- Good resistance to illness
- Good grazer (for several months can graze by itself in the woods)
- Delicious meat
- Low fertility
- Difficult suckler
- Slow in fattening
Due to these negative traits the Mora Romagnola had to be crossbreeded with an Yorkshire breed and from that cross came out a pig whose meat is famous all over the world.
The ‘Mora’ is a good grazer, very adaptable to the local geographical conditions. Breeding takes place in the open through all the year since the Mora stands up well to the cold weather and find its own shelter for delivery. Breeding takes place in a close enviroment where in the same habitat the Mora lives and finds its own food.
The evolution of the Mora after the cross with the English breed
In 1886 around Faenza the farmers introduced the English breed ‘Yorkshires’ (Large white and Middle white); from that cross came out the St. Lazzaro and Bastianella strains, whose boars where crossed with the Mora sow: from that breeding came out the famous ‘Fumati di Romagna'(Romagna smokies).
These pigs are early and voracious, with a meat of good quality: perfect for cold cuts, firm fat and long preservation.
The Mora Romagnola: a pure breed
The Mora Romagnola is a “pure breed” with unique features (about fifteen) and the most relevant are:
- The crests of long and hard bristles running along the spine and ending on the backside in a kind of “curls”.
- Eyes almond shaped and fangs like a wild boar.
- Another relevant feature is the position and the direction of the ears, low on the snout.
How dit it arrive in Romagna
This kind of pig arrived in Romagna with the barbarian invasion and soon flourished. For the countrymen it became the main animal for the production of meat: the breeding was actually easy and cheap, and the meat was good.In Romagna it was present in a large number up to the half of XX century (in 1949 more than 22.000 heads) but in the following years it nearly disappeared.
Area of production
The Mora was largely breeded in the areas of Forlì, Faenza and Ravenna, but also in other parts of the Region; nowadays, the breeding has been brought back in the province of Ravenna: Brisighella, Riolo Terme and Casola Valsenio.
In the slaughterhouse of Brisighella all the operations of butchering, processing and seasoning are carried out according to the specifications of UNI 10939, under the responsibility of COPAF (the Institute for the development of Faenza local products).
Different types of Mora
Once there were several types of Mora: the largely spread ‘Forlivese’, blackish coat with whiter patches on the belly, the ‘Faentina’ with a light red coat and – less valuable – the ‘Riminese’, the darkest, with a reddish coat and a white star on the snout.
All these breeds were used to be crossed with local strains of ‘Large White’ (‘St. Lazzaro’ and ‘Bastianella’) and the hybrid was called ‘Fumato’.
The Mora sow isn’t very prolific (5 or 6 piglets the first time and a maximum of 9 thereafter) and doesn’t’ produce much milk.
How the Mora was saved by a valiant breeder
The breeder Mario Lazzari, in his small farm in the surroundings of Faenza, since 1982 was committed to select the last heads of ‘Mora Romagnola’, one of the five aboriginal pig breeds of Italy. The Mora was believed already extinct but, after a long quest, he succeeded to find the last pure heads still alive (about a dozen) and start breeding them again with only three sows and one boar.
Right now are breeded about 850 heads, all registered and suitable for reproduction. From 2005 all the breeders are members of the COPAF (see above) and the DOP qualification has been requested.
The ‘Mora’ meat
The Mora meat is peculiar, darker than the white pig meat: it has a good smell, it’s tasty, with a sweet flavour, and tender due to the way the fat is present; it can be easily preserved and seasoned and it’s excellent for cold cuts and ham.