Cured free-range ham from Extremadura
Cured free-range ham © Turismo de Cáceres
One of the great treasures in the food store of Spain are the Iberian cured hams, among which the cured ham from the Extremadura meadow lands, protected under the Denomination of Origin, stands out.
The Ham is obtained exclusively from pure Iberian pigs or crosses with at least 75% Iberian blood and no more than 25% from the Duroc-Jersey breed. The production of the Shoulders and Hams under this Denomination begins with a classification of the pieces obtained from the slaughtered animals. Rear legs under 6 kg and front legs under 4 kg are discarded. Following a careful process whose phases include salting, washing, settling and drying, the ham undergoes a curing and ageing process, which lasts for over one year. Their shape is long and slender, with weights of at least 4.5% for the hams and 3.5 for the shoulders. Its colour varies from pink to purplish-red, with fat marbling, and its flavour and aroma are characteristic, delicate and slightly salty. This delicacy is best enjoyed without any accompaniment that could mask its flavour.
- Type of product: Meat
- Season: Year-round.
- Origin: The production area comprises the oak and cork tree-filled meadows in the provinces of Caceres and Badajoz. The production and curing area comprises 40 towns in Badajoz and 45 in Caceres, in the mountainous regions of Southwest Badajoz, Ibor-Villuercas, Cáceres-Gredos Sur, Sierra Montánchez and Sierra de San Pedro.
- To drink with it: Reserva or gran reserva red wines and finos or manzanilla.
- Where to buy: Cured Ham from the Extremadura Meadow Lands is available essentially in any speciality shop, supermarket, hypermarket, and butcher's on the Peninsula, but it is sold especially in the provinces of Extremadura.