Why Is Spain So Obsessed With Pork?

Visit Spain, and you’ll see a pig leg hanging in almost every shop and restaurant window. And it’s true that a big part of the reason why this is the case is that Spanish people are generally pretty obsessed with anything that comes from a pig. However there’s also a different, slightly darker reason why this is the case too.


During the Spanish Inquisition, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand issued royal decrees that gave all Jews and Muslims living in Spain three not very appealing options: convert to Catholicism, leave the country for good or burn at the stake. Many chose to leave, however there were some who decided to stay. The problem was that they wanted to stay, but they didn’t want to convert to Catholicism, so they had to pretend that they had converted. So they hung pork legs to show that their religion had changed and they were willing to eat pork! Of course, once one person started to do this as a way to show their Catholicism, everyone started doing it. So it spread around the country.

It’s weird, but it does explain why you see Spanish ham everywhere you go in Spain!