Iberian cured ham
Iberian cured ham comes only from pure-bred Iberian pigs (black and dark) or Duroc-Jersey crosses with 75% Iberian blood.
The pig has played the leading role in Spanish cuisine and culture, above all in rural Spain, where it has been a fundamental part of the meat diet. It is the only animal from which absolutely everything is used. Cured ham is the most important pork product obtained from the Iberian pig. The amount and composition of the fat are determining factors in the final quality of meat products and especially cured ham. It can be seen in the white streaks that appear and provides juiciness. Making ham begins with the curing process to eliminate moisture and achieve the natural fusion of the fats during maturing, when the aromas and flavours characteristic of cured ham appear. Products from Iberian pigs fed with acorns are also excellent. In Spain there arefour Protected Designations of Origin for Iberian cured ham: Guijuelo, in Salamanca and Extremadura, cured ham from La Dehesa in Extremadura, cured ham from Huelva, in Huelva and Extremadura and cured ham from Los Pedroches, a new designation, from Córdoba.
- All year round.
- Cured Iberian ham is excellent eaten with crianza and reserva red wines.
- Three types can be distinguished depending on the type of food given to the Iberian pig:
- Bellota (Acorn-fed) Iberian Ham:
- Comes from pigs grazing on pastures and fed with acorns and grass.
- Recebo Iberian Ham:
- From pigs fed with acorns in meadows, but which have also had supplementary feeding with authorised animal feed.
- Pienso (Fodder) Iberian Ham:
- From pigs fed in meadows only with authorised fodder.
- Rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and mono-unsaturated fatty acids.