Did you know that practically all coin banks (traditionally known as piggy banks) are in the shape of little pigs?

In ancient times, when man came into contact with pigs, to the point of domesticating them, these animals symbolized the savings of the family economy. Hence the reason why in later times our parents would present us with this peculiar piggy bank as a gift.

Did you know that oxen and pigs held the starring role during the trials of the Middle Ages?

Oxen, because they would charge against persons and pigs, because they would kill or devour small children. Legally this was considered voluntary manslaughter and they were then condemned to death by hanging or burning.

Do you know what Spam is?

Originally “Spam” was known as ham with spices (Spiced Ham) and it was produced by Hormel in 1926. It was known as the first tinned meat product that required no refrigeration. This characteristic made the product highly popular, to the point that it was even used by the American and Russian armies during the Second World War.

Do you know what the very first “tapa” in history was?

It is said that King Alfonso XIII of Spain, during one of his visits to Cádiz, before returning to his palace, stopped at an inn by the sea and ordered a glass of Jerez (sherry), but he didn’t realize that a gust of wind was about to put it in jeopardy. The ever attentive serving lad quickly reacted and placed a slice of ham over the glass to protect its content. When the King was about to take a sip, he asked with surprise: “what is this? And the young man answered: “Excuse me Your Majesty, I have placed a cover (tapa) on your glass so no sand would get into your sherry”. It is said that the King then ate the Ham and asked for another glass of sherry, but with another “Tapa”, of course.

Did you know what the saying “to throw daisies to the pigs” means”?

The origin of this phrase is to be found in the bible (Gospel of Matthew 7: 6). Originally it read “do not give dogs what is sacred or do not throw your pearls to the pigs”, meaning “do not waste good things on those who are not deserving of them”. A slight error in translation from Latin to Spanish, as the original word was not “Margarita” (daisy in Spanish) but “Margaron” (which actually means “Pearl”), resulted in the current saying. Hence the misleading translation of “throwing daisies to the pigs”, which in the true expression would have been “throwing pearls to the pigs”.

Do you know when the first recipe for Ham curing appeared?

The recipe dates from the 1st century BC and it was written by “Cato the Elder”, referred to as Cato Censorius (the Censor), who left behind a legacy of writings and sayings and also wrote a sort of history of Rome in order to teach his son about all the ins and outs of life in the Roman Empire.

Do you know what type of pig is considered the ugliest animal in the world?

There is no doubt that the Warthog is famous for being the ugliest of all. This type of pig is rather exceptional, as it has a barrel-shaped body, with a large head with four wart-like protrusions and a mane down the spine and with two pairs of tusks, protruding from the mouth and curving upwards, along with canine teeth that can grow up to 25.5 cm in length. Their average height ranges from 0.8 to 1.5 m, with a weight that ranges between 45 and 75 kg. It most definitely has a face that only a mother could love.

Do you know why Saint Anthony is depicted with a pig at his heels?

Anthony the Abbot, also known as Anthony the Hermit (251-356), was born in Koma near Herakleopolis in Lower Egypt. According to the legend, his life was closely linked to Paul the Apostle, who he cared for in his final moments. During his stay in the desert, all the animals would come to him looking to be cured. A wild boar sow approached him with her piglets, all of which were blind. Saint Anthony cured them and since then the pig or boar has always been depicted alongside him, protecting and accompanying him. Hence the image of Saint Anthony with a pig at his heels.


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