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Boar, known in mythology and heraldry, in recipes and in the news, it is undoubtedly an animal in the spotlight, put in a bad light or not under changing circumstances. It is a mammal native to Eurasia and North Africa but which today is abundantly widespread in the most varied territories. Its appearance is difficult to describe uniquely, I will try, but over the years and in the various areas, the original strain has mixed with other similar species giving rise to a great multitude of versions of different shapes, sizes and colors.
Wild boar: appearance and variety
In general the boar is undoubtedly an animal of massive constitution, from its square body sprout short and thin legs, each foot, equipped with four hooves, moves fast and agile despite its size. The short and stocky neck connects the head to the torso which appears large and massive but the muzzle seems to taper into a long cone that ends in the snout, a "big nose" which boasts great tactile and olfactory performances.
The eyes do not express much, they are oblique, small and arranged to the side to allow the widest possible vision even if in low definition. THE Boar has 44 teeth but the most evident are the canines, also called fangs, which in males emerge from the mouth, arching upwards.
The skin of this animal is a kind of armor, thick and not very vascularized, also equipped with fat pads under the skin and almost totally covered with stiff bristles. There is a summer and a winter version of the coat, and also the hue varies greatly from area to area, and with the climate, passing from reddish-brown to blackish with some curious exceptions. One is that of White boar, not albino, but whitish in color: it comes fromCentral Asia.
Talking about Boars in the plural, given the numerous variations, the length can reach up to 180 cm while the maximum height at the withers is 1 meter, the average weight is indicated as the maximum is a quintal but this parameter undergoes variations that make no sense to summarize in a number.
The giant boar, in fact, in Russia, it exceeds three quintals, if male, the females are smaller but certainly not slender. In Spain we certainly cannot speak of a Giant, on the contrary: in this area we find minute specimens that do not exceed 80 kg.
In Italy in the Alps we find animals called "black", with gray-blackish hair, weighing between 100 and 200 kg, going south and in Sardinia, the weight also drops up to 80 kg. There tail however it never fails, and it is useful as fly swatter, is pendulous and can measure up to 40 cm, is covered with bristles with a tuft of hair on the tip.
Wild boar: habitat and distribution
Starting from Eurasia and North Africa, the wild boar has long spread almost everywhere until the time of its demographic boom in the post-war period. On the other hand it is a adaptable animal in almost any habitat, was placed on the list of one hundred most harmful invasive species in the world also because it colonizes all the environments in which it occurs, avoiding only the desert, rocky areas and those with heavy snowfall.
In Europe, wild boars inhabit the woods, in particular oak woods, in Africa and Asia they prefer swamps. Focusing on Italy, we find this mammal scattered here and there but very present, from the Aosta Valley to Calabria, also passing through Sardinia, Sicily, the island of Elba and other small islands. The groups that live in pre-alpine and mountain areas between Lombardy, Veneto, Trentino and Friuli are smaller.
If we want to see him in friendship and not in a "metropolitan" version, let's look for him in national parks, in Pollino National Parkis in the Gran Sasso National Park, for example.
Boar: problems it is causing
We cannot talk about the wild boar by pretending that today as yesterday, it does not cause objective damage to man and the environment. Without judging, we see the reality of facts and gods disasters that are before everyone's eyes. When we find ourselves in wooded environments where wild boars are native, they have a beneficial function and contribute to the aeration of the soil with the consequent decrease in the presence of harmful insect larvae. They contribute to the development of the woods.
Problems arise when there are too many of them in a small space, then they cause damage both to the tree cover and to the population of deer and galliformes.
When wild boars are introduced by humans, they are extremely harmful both because they replace other suidae or peccaries and because they devastate the forests and they make many reptile, amphibian and terrestrial bird species disappear. For this reason, hunting trips are often organized to reduce the number of specimens. Near the cities the wild boars go to raid in the plantations while if they reach the urbanized area they wander in the suburbs and in landfills in search of type food junk food and damaging vehicles and street furniture even if inedible.
Wild boar: recipe
Hated in the city but loved by many at the table, wild boar is the protagonist of many recipes including that of Stewed wild boar, that of Wild boar alla Cacciatora or jugged. Let's try it stewed, here's the recipe. Let's get half a kilo of meat, 350 g of tomato puree, and then carrots, onions and a little celery, garlic if you like and half a liter of red wine. To give wild flavor you need 4 bay leaves, juniper berries and, if you want, also rosemary, sage, parsley.
We start one evening that we feel inspired, dipping the meat in a mix of carrots, onions and celery, adding spices and red wine leaving it for a whole night, in the morning we cut it into pieces keeping the smells macerated with the meat and throwing the wine. In a separate earthenware pot, pass the carrots, onions and celery into pieces that we have not yet used, with oil, and then add the chopped wild boar, letting it brown until the wine remaining in the meat is completely absorbed. At this point we can add the tomato puree and let everything cook for at least 3 hours. When the tomato has withdrawn, the stewed wild boar it is ready to serve on the table, excellent with polenta, but not only.
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