The wild boar: description and Italian names
The body of the wild boar, in Italian cinghiale, is compact; the head is large, the legs relatively short. The fur consists of stiff bristles and usually finer fur. The colour usually varies from dark grey to black or brown.. The size also varies highly within the range. Full-grown female wild boars (5 years or older) have a body length of about 135 cm (53 in) and a weight of 55–70 kg (120–150 lb) while adult males reach 140–150 centimetres (55–59 in) and weigh between 80 and 90 kg (180 and 200 lb). Boars also have the ability to leap 3 to 4 feet (0.91 to 1.2 m) in the air. The tusks (the canine teeth) serve as weapons, and grow continuously. The lower tusks of an adult male measure about 20 cm (7.9 in) (from which seldom more than 10 cm (3.9 in) protrude out of the mouth), in exceptional cases even 30 cm (12 in). The upper tusks are bent upwards in males, and are regularly ground against each other to produce sharp edges. In females they are smaller, and the upper tusks are only slightly bent upwards in older individuals. Wild boar piglets are coloured differently from adults, being a soft brown with longitudinal darker stripes. The stripes fade by the time the piglet is about half-grown, when the animal takes on the adult's grizzled grey or brown colour.
The wild boars are very widespread in Italy after the resettlement campaigns. They like to live in forests near streams or ponds, both in lowlands or in the mountains up to the vegetation level. In Tuscany and middle Italy is traditionally hunted. Its meats have a very intense flavour and smell, for this reason they require a long work (the wild boar of Obelix for us would be terrible!). Should you buy the meat from a hunter you must proceed in this manner: at first put it into salted water for 12 hours. In this manner you take away the surplus blood, then you can proceed with a first marinade into ½ wine and ½ vinegar for 12 hours again. Then you can begin the cooking: the third marinade of 12 up to 24 hours (depending from the recipe), will characterize your recipe. The cooking time must be no less than 3 hours long. The product sold in the shops has already had the first and second marinade. Generally the most appreciated cuts are the leg (coscia), the same for the ham in the pig and the loin (sella) . For the cuts they are the same of the pork meat cuts