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Origin

One place, one flavour

The origin of the Jamón Ibérico is an essential part of its elaboration process, because the climatic conditions, pastures and other characteristics of a place, will make the hams have a characteristic flavour. Choose your favourite!

What is ham and how is it made?

A Jamón is the result of curing a pig's hind leg in salt. Depending on the type of pig and its diet, the months of curing vary substantially and its taste will also vary. Due to the large amount of meat in the same ham we will find different flavours: the maza is the softest part, the contramaza the tastiest and as we approach the bone we find more intensity.

Once we have the pig's leg ready, the first thing we have to do is prepare it for salting. The cook makes a v-shaped cut on the pork rind and decides how much external fat to leave. The more fat, the less salt it absorbs and the sweeter it gets. After the previous operation, the leg is buried in salt for about two weeks on average. If the cook decides to extend that period, the Jamón will be tastier. From that moment on, depending on the type of jamón we are going to make, the characteristics of the leg and the taste that we want to obtain, the leg will be hung in the special room for dry curing, until it is optimal for consumption.

What is a Paleta and how is it made?

A Paleta-ham shoulder is the result of dry curing a pig's front leg in salt. Its flavour is more  intense than Jamón’s because there is the same amount of bone and much less meat than in a ham. It needs less months to cure than a ham.

Once we have the pig's leg ready, the first thing we have to do is prepare it for salting. The “cook” (as we call the expert in dry-curing) makes a v-shaped cut on the pork rind and decides how much external fat to leave. The more fat, the less salt it absorbs and the sweeter it gets. After the previous operation, the leg is buried in salt for about two weeks on average. If the cooke decides to extend that period, the paleta will be tastier. From that moment on, depending on the type of paleta we are going to make, the characteristics of the leg and the taste we want to obtain, the leg will be hung in the special room for dry curing until it is optimal for consumption.

Colours and origins

Those pigs that are destined to result in Jamón or Paleta Iberica de Bellota perform the final part of their fattening during the Montenera season: from November onwards, when it is cold in the pastureland and the acorn falls naturally because they are ripe, the experts leave the pigs that want to finish fattening naturally free on the farm. For a maximum of 4 months, pigs will eat all the acorns they can find, red fruits and plenty of grass. They'll walk a lot and drink a lot of water. When they have gained 50% of the weight with which they entered the field, they will be ready to provide the wonderful Iberian acorn-fed hams.

Each region has its own characteristics and results in a very particular Jamón taste. To differentiate and locate them easily, in Enrique Tomás we have given colours and a specific letter to each and one of them:

  • G yellow coulour - Jamón de Guijuelo, Salamanca: Undoubtedly the nicest ham, soft to the palate, delicious and very little invasive. Everybody likes him.
  • H burgundy colour – Jamón de Jabugo, Huelva: The easiest flavour to recognize of all those that compose the Iberian ham. It is emphatic, flavourful, intense, smoky, unforgettable.
  • E blue colour – Jamón de Extremadura, Cáceres/Badajoz: It is an intense and pleasant ham, very tasty at first, with an elegance such that it leaves no trace in the mouth once tasted.
  • C orange colour – Jamón de Pedroches, Córdoba: A different ham, bright, tasty, intense and very pleasant.
Find out everything!
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