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MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PALETA
Paleta de bellota ibérica
In order for a paleta to be considered bellota ibérica, it must exceed 50% purity and must have been fattened in the last stage freely in the montanera.
There is a very special pig race on the Iberian Peninsula, the Iberian pig. It has a number of characteristics that make it different from all other pigs, but there's one essential characteristic: it infiltrates fat into its muscles. That is what creates those white veins in a paleta ibérica which make it a unique product.
The purity of the race
The degree of purity of a pig's race obviously depends on the purity of its parents. Thus, any pig that exceeds 50% purity can be considered an Iberian pig. The mother must be 100% pure.
The iberian pig diet
The first one hundred kilos of any Iberian pig are gained in the same way as any other pig. First, it is fed by its mother and later it is fed vitamin-enhanced feed. A proper diet is essential for the animal to become strong and muscular with resistant bones.
Pigs that are to be used to make paletas de bellota ibéricas finish fattening in the montanera (woodlands). When it's cold in the mountains after November, the acorns begin to naturally fall as they are ripe. So, farm managers let the pigs freely roam the area to fatten naturally. Over a maximum period of 4 months, the pigs eat all the acorns they can find in addition to berries and a lot of grass. They will weigh a lot and drink a lot of water. When they have increased their weight by 50% in comparison to when they entered the fields, they are ready to provide wonderful paletas de bellota ibéricas.
There are four areas in Spain which are well-known for their jamón and paleta tradition and quality: Salamanca, Cáceres-Badajoz, Córdoba and Huelva. The origin of this paleta may be any of the four regions indicated. The best pieces received weighing at least 4,5 kilos from each batch are marked as selection.
Paleta de bellota ibérica aged more than 24 months and salted.
Nutritional information (for every 100gr/3,5 Oz):
Energetic value, Calories (kcal/KJ): 335/1394
Fat (g): 22,2
saturated fat (g): 6,53
Carbohydrates (g): 0,5
Proteins (g): 33,2
Salt (g): 4,25
What is paleta?
A paleta is the result of curing a pig's foreleg in salt. The flavour is more intense than found in a jamón because the same quantity of bone is present yet there is much less meat than in a jamón. It needs less curing time than a jamón.
How is a paleta made?
Once the pig's leg is ready, the first thing they do is prepare it for salting. The chef slices a v into the pig's skin and decides how much external fat to leave. The more fat, the less salt it will absorb and the sweeter it will be. Once that is done, the leg is buried in salt for about two weeks on average. If the chef decides to lengthen this period, the paleta will become more flavourful. After that and depending on the type of paleta to be produced, the characteristics of the leg and the flavour desired, the leg is hung in a drying chamber until ready for consumption.