Iberian ham | Different types and how to identify them

We have already talked about Serrano Ham and its extraordinary quality, however it should be noted here that the undoubted king of this type of product is undoubtedly the Iberian Ham, and within this and its varieties, the Iberian Acorn-fed Ham.

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This product, until recently a stranger outside Spain, is becoming, where it enters, the “king of the party” delighting gourmets all over the world.

The first thing to note is that just as the serrano ham is a product of the white-coat pig or white pig, the Iberian Ham comes from the Iberian or Iberian pig, being the real Iberian Ham that comes from parents of this 100% breed.

In this ham the fat, different from that of the white pig, is more infiltrated in the muscle and this also motivates the need for a longer time of curing and drying.

As crossbreeding techniques are sometimes used within the breeding techniques, the regulations establish the obligation to indicate on the labels of this product the percentage of Iberian that the ham has, according to the breed or rather the cross that has the pig from which it comes , a percentage of 50% of Iberian pig being frequent based on a cross between two races, the Iberian pig and the durac breed, without that making us forget that the ideal and of better quality is the Iberian Ham, 100% Iberian .

Secondly, when establishing the classes of Iberian Ham is the food that the pig has had, which is something essential.

Acorn-fed Iberian ham, is the ham from a pig that has been fed throughout its life basically based on acorns. As supplements it also ingests in the pasture grass of grasses, wild vegetables or fruits of grasses.

Iberian ham of recebo, is the ham from a pig that has been fed on acorns and herbs at the beginning of its life and then was fed with feed derived from legumes and natural cereals.

Iberian Cebo Ham, is the ham from a pig that has been fed on feed and cereals throughout its life. Within these two classes are established Iberian ham “bait” to dry, refer to those who have been raised in closed facilities and the Iberian Ham “field bait” those who have been fed with feed and cereals but have been raised in the pasture.

The quality therefore depends on the breed of the animal and especially on its feeding, being the ideal that the acorn predominates in that feeding and for that reason also that superior quality is often referred to as Iberian acorn-fed ham.

With regard to the consumer, there is also another important aspect and it is the regulations that establish the type and color of the label that an Iberian Ham must have according to the type of ham in question.

The regulations establish that the types of hams must be identified by means of a color flange that will go in the cane of the hams and that differentiates each denomination of sale:

Black: for pieces of 100% Iberian Acorn-fed Iberian Ham. These are types of hams that come from 100% Iberian pigs raised in freedom and taken to montanera.
Red: for Iberian Acorn-fed hams that come from crossed pigs so they are not 100% Iberian.
Green: for the Iberian Ham of Cebo de Campo that come from pigs fed with high quality feed and that can be complemented by natural pastures).
Blanco, for the Iberian Cebo Ham. These are pieces that come from pigs fed with feed, cereals and legumes and that are raised in confined spaces or fattening.
You can buy Iberian Ham online, of all categories through our Gastronomic Spain page and receive it at your house , in all European countries, at the best prices without competition.

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