If something differentiates the Iberian pig from the rest of the planet's animals, it is the way fat infiltrates into the muscle, which explains why its meat has such a characteristic taste. In order to obtain an Paleta Ibérica de Bellota (acorn-fed) or a ham with top-quality meat, the pig from which they come must have made the Montanera (period of the year that they roam in fredom) and fed on acorns and all kinds of natural products in the pastureland.
In Enrique Tomás we have been Jamón experts for more than thirty years and that is why we know that in order for Paleta Iberica de Bellota to be perfect, they must be dry-cured for 24 months and with specific climatic conditions.
The Iberian acorn-fed shoulder (Paleta Iberica de Bellota) is obtained from the front legs of Iberian pigs with a breed purity of between 50 and 99%, that is to say, at least one of their parents is a pure Iberian pig, and its curing process must be the right one so that its flavor is at the most optimal point. Try one of our Paleta Ibérica de Bellota in any of its formats or origins and even, if you want, you can buy one of our tasting packs. So you can tell the difference between one origin and another!
All the Iberian pigs suckle from the mother and eat natural feed up to 100 kilograms of weight, when some of will make the Montanera and others not. The pigs will be released into the pasture according to the number of acorn-fed hams and shoulders that the farmer wishes to obtain afterwards.
The pigs that make the Montanera are released in freedom for about five months, from October to February, and during this time they feed on acorn and natural products and, as they have to look for food, are in continuous movement.
The infiltration of fat into the muscle proper to Iberian pigs, combined with a diet based on acorns and exercise, gives rise to a meat full of aroma and nuances and with a very juicy texture, thanks to the fact that the fat that surrounds it is so oily that it practically melts in the mouth.
In Spain, Iberian shoulders and hams are produced in four areas, and depending on where they come from, they will have some nuances or others. The Iberian acorn fed ham and shoulder from Salamanca are soft, while in Huelva they have a more intense and long-lasting taste on the palate, in Cáceres and Badajoz the taste of meat is more aromatic and in Córdoba, on the other hand, it is more intense. Try them and see which one best suits your palate!