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Why is it called Serrano ham?

Serrano Gran Reserva Ham - Glossary Enrique Tomás

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Why is it called serrano ham? What is its origin and what are its characteristics? How is it made? Does it have Denominations of Origin? We have to start from a premise, when we refer to Serrano ham we are talking about a food obtained from the salting and air drying of the hind legs of the white pig.  From Enrique Tomás we give you answers to these and other questions.

Serrano ham: the origin, the characteristics


As far as the origin is concerned, it is a matter of knowing that Serrano ham can only come from white pigs.  Therefore, it should never be confused with Iberian ham, which comes from the Iberian breed of pig and the latter is reared exclusively on the Peninsula of the same name and whose physical characteristics with respect to the white pig, are very different. Thus, the result in curing and the method of “cooking” by the ham expert will be equally different. Thus, the appearance and taste will also be different. In short, we deal with two very different products.

Having clarified this, it is important to point out that it is believed that the name Serrano ham is related to the place where the hams are cured, that is, in the mountains. The curing process is a handcrafted work that requires the experience and care of the professionals and this work was carried out -and is carried out- in the Spanish “Sierra” where the exact conditions of temperature and humidity that the hams need are given.

The characteristics

  • Depending on the type of food

Based on cereal feed, white pigs are usually reared intensively, i.e. on farms.

  • The breed

The most common are Duroc, Landrace, Large White or Pitrean.

  • In terms of location

There are in the whole world and consequently, there is cured ham similar to the Serrano type (despite  the differences and the tastes) in other places, call it Prosciutto in Italy or Presumto in Portugal, for example. Therefore, this animal does not need a specific habitat or climate as the Iberian pig does.

  • In relation to curing

In the case of ham in general, it has to be at least 12 months, but if we talk about our Gran Reserva Ham, for example, they are 18 months, which makes it an exceptional type of Serrano ham on the palate and with a curing time superior to that dictated by the norm.

  • In terms of weight

The minimum recommended weight for a Serrano ham to be marketed is 7 kg.

Varieties of Serrano Ham 

There are several types of Serrano Ham depending on the curing time and the region where the pig is raised. We are going to focus on what are considered the DO (Denominations of Origin) of Serrano ham.

DO Teruel Ham

It was the first white ham of the Peninsula with denomination of origin. These are pigs raised exclusively in the province of Teruel. The only raise pigs from their area of origin. They are cured for a minimum of 14 months and weigh no less than 7 kg. It is identified by its own symbol, an eight-pointed star.

IGP Jamón de Trévelez (Jamón de Trévelez)

It is produced in Granada, specifically in some towns of Sierra Nevada, among the most prominent are Juviles, Busquistar, Bérchules, Pórtugos and some more, but of course the most renowned is the Trévelez that gives name to the IGP (Protected Geographical Indication).

These pigs come from pigs of different breeds, including Landrace and Large White. They are hams with a marked rounded shape that are cured between 14 and 30 months.

At Enrique Tomás, as a specialised business that guarantees the highest quality in each of its hams, we offer Serrano ham in whole pieces, boned or sliced by machine and knife. If you want to enjoy a good Jamón Gran Reserva Selección or Monte Nevado, the latter with more than 20 months of curing, you are in the right place.

Discover them!

Sliced ham
Tipo de servicio
Sliced ham
Nombre del proveedor
C/ Occitania 45,Badalona,Barcelona-08911,
Telephone No.+34 93 383 84 85
Sales Dpt.
Do you want to know why it is called jamón serrano? Don't worry, at Enrique Tomás we take care of telling you these and other curiosities.

Otros idiomas: Español Français Deutsch Italiano


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