Differences between a ham and an Iberian shoulder

Differences between a ham and an Iberian shoulder

Although some do not visually differentiate Iberian shoulder from Iberian ham, it is a very different product in almost everything.

The Iberian ham, as we said, is obtained from the preparation and curing of the hind legs of the Iberian pig, while the Iberian shoulder is obtained from the preparation and curing of the front legs of the same pig.

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Its morphology and size are different, as the Iberian shoulder is shorter, about 60 and 75 cm. compared to 70 to 90 cm. of the Iberian ham. It is also thinner and narrower than ham and consequently its lower weight, that of the Iberian shoulder ranges between 4 and 5.5 kg and the Iberian ham between 6.5 and 8.5 kg. We must bear in mind that with these measures and weights we are referring to the normal size of the Iberian pig when it is slaughtered, but it could reach larger dimensions and weight, although this is not commercially advisable.

As for its characteristics, the Iberian shoulder has a greater proportion of bone and fat that can reach 60%, while in the Iberian ham that proportion is usually around 50%.

Also, this higher proportion of fat and its smaller size have an impact on its healing time, usually less and its organoleptic characteristics, which are lower than those of the Iberian ham, presenting less nuances and a maybe stronger flavor, although very good quality.

At the time of cutting, the slices obtained from the Iberian shoulder are narrower than those obtained from the ham and its more fatty appearance.

Therefore, the price per kg of the Iberian shoulder is lower than the Iberian ham of similar classification.

As for the rest of the characteristics, all the classifications that we already explained applied to the Iberian ham, acorn, recebo, bait, etc. are applicable to the Iberian Palette. also referring to the% purity of the Iberian breed.

This should not lead to the error of thinking that the Iberian shoulder is not a very high quality and very tasty product, what happens is that it is at a clear disadvantage when compared to the star product that is the Iberian ham.

As for the badge used to identify its quality, it is exactly the same as in the case of the Iberian ham and consists of placing a plastic flange of different color on the upper part of the Iberian shoulder, next to the hoof. :

Black color, for the Acorn Iberian Shoulder from 100% Iberian pigs fed with acorn.

Red color, for the Iberian Palette from 75% or 50% Iberian pigs, crossed with the durac breed and fed with acorn.

Green color, for the Iberian Palettes from Iberian pigs fed with feed in open-air farms or in pastures.

White color, for Iberian shoulders from Iberian pigs fed with feed in closed farms.

The Iberian Palette of different qualities, you can buy Iberian palette online through our Gastronomic Spain page, easily and conveniently and receive it at your home, in any country in Europe at prices without competition.

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