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Differences between Serrano and Iberian ham, get to know them!

difference bt serrano ham and iberian ham

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Knowing the difference between Serrano ham and Iberian ham is important in order to know what type of Jamón we are buying and have not had the wool pulled over our eyes, as not all hams have the same price. In Enrique Tomás, in addition to selling ham of the best quality, we want to raise awareness of their culture and provide information to help expand the knowledge we have about this product so typical of our land. To do this, we are going to explain the difference between them Let’s start!

Difference between Serrano and Iberian ham according to the breed of pig

Iberian ham is a product obtained from Iberian pigs and Serrano ham is that which comes from white pigs. Both hams are obtained from the hind legs of the animal but the Iberian ham, unlike the Serrano, can only be produced in Spain and Portugal for two reasons; first, the Iberian pigs are only in our peninsula and secondly, only in these countries are the weather conditions necessary for the Iberian ham can be produced as it should.

Many people wonder when the Iberian ham will be copied abroad and the answer to this question is very simple: it’s impossible, it’s not even worth a second thought. Iberian ham is Spanish or Portuguese and that’s it, and if any foreign ham manufacturer wants to produce Iberian ham, they will have to do it here, otherwise they will produce ham but it will not be Iberian, it will be something else.

At this point the equation has become clear: Iberian ham equal to Iberian pork, but what about Serrano ham? This type of ham is obtained from Duroc, Pietrain or Large White pigs, among others, i.e. it is the ham obtained from white pigs.

The Duroc pigs are from the United States, the Pietrain from Belgium and the Large White from the United Kingdom and, as we can see, the non-Iberian ham does not have to be produced in a specific part of the world, but comes from very different areas. It must be said that the Duroc breed stands out above the others for being the best to cross with the Iberian pig and when we speak of pure 50% Iberian we mean the meat obtained from pigs with an Iberian parent , being the mother of our iberian peninsula.

Cerdo Ibérico y Cerdo Blanco

Iberian pig and white pig respectively

And the taste?

We have already explained that the main difference between Serrano and Iberian ham is that they come from different breeds of the  same animal type, but how does this affect their taste? Iberian pigs have a genetic peculiarity that no other animal on Earth has, they infiltrate fat into the muscle and this, together with a specific diet and the exercise that the pig can do in the pasture when it is released in freedom, gives rise to a very juicy meat full of nuances and aromas.

The first thing to bear in mind is that although a non-Iberian pig is released into the pasture, its meat will never be like the Iberian because white pigs do not infiltrate the fat. If a farmer wants to feed his white pigs with acorns and take them to the pasture to make the montanera, he can do so without any problem; however, it should be noted that he will not be able to make the taste of the white pig the same as that of the Iberian pig, the only thing he will achieve will be a more optimal meat, as the pigs will be happier and this will be reflected in the product obtained from them.

As far as Serrano hams are concerned, it should also be pointed out that the fat of the latter does not have such a juicy texture that you will only appreciate on a slice of Iberian ham – only by tasting an authentic Iberian ham can you appreciate how its fat melts in your mouth!

Difference according to the curing process

The curing process of Iberian ham and Serrano ham is the same, that is, it follows the same guidelines, but there is a factor that differentiates them notably,  time.

As we have already explained, Iberian pigs have a characteristic that no other animal on Earth possesses, they infiltrate the fat into the muscle and this is what makes their meat tastier than that of white pigs and, therefore, more expensive to cure. By infiltrating more fat into the muscle, the curing process of the Iberian is longer and, while the Jamón Serrano or Reserva only needs fifteen months to be ready and the Gran Reserva 18, an Iberian can take between 24 and 36 months, depending on whether it is Iberian bait or acorn.

As you can see, at Enrique Tomás we want to offer you the best quality hams to make sure you look for what you are looking for, find it in our establishments or on our website. Enjoy the ham in your trusted shop and make sure you buy just what you want!

Sliced ham
Tipo de servicio
Sliced ham
Nombre del proveedor
Occitania 45,Badalona, Barcelona-08911,
Telephone No.+34 93 3838485
Sales Dpt.
Find out the difference between Serrano and Iberian ham according to the different factors that make the taste of one and the other totally different.

Otros idiomas: Español Français Deutsch Italiano


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