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7 curiosities about Iberian ham that will surprise you

Otros idiomas: Español

The Iberian ham is the one produced thanks to the meat of authentic Iberian pigs raised in our peninsula but do you know everything about it? In Enrique Tomás we tell you 7 curiosities about Iberian ham that will surprise you!

Curiosities about Iberian ham

  1. According to the diet of the Iberian pigs, we can differentiate between Iberico de Cebo, Iberico de Cebo de Campo or Ibérico Bellota. The Iberico de Cebo are so called because they are fattened with feed on the farms, hence their name “Cebo”.
  2. We have already explained that there are three types of Iberian hams according to their diet but, unlike those of Iberico de Cebo or Iberico de Campo, the production of Iberico de Bellota is limited. In Spain, around 1.4 million Iberico de Bellota hams and as many ham shoulders are produced and it is impossible to produce more. Why? Very simple, because the activity of the pastureland and its number of trees are controlled so that no more than 700,000 Iberian pigs can be fed there.
Jamón bellota

Jamón iberico Enrique Tomás 5 estrellas

  1. The pigs intended to produce Iberico de Bellota do NOT only eat acorns. As we have already mentioned, these pigs feed in the pastures when they make the Montanera-season and, in addition to acorns, they eat all kinds of natural products and herbs.
  2. The Iberian pigs are all those that have, at least, a parent of this species being generally the mother. The breed of white pig that is crossed with the Iberian pigs is the Duroc, because its genetics allows to preserve the characteristics of the pigs of our peninsula, such as the ability to infiltrate fat into the muscle.
  3. If  we combine the diet based on acorn and 100% of Iberian breed purity, we obtain as a result 100% acorn-fed Iberian hams, also called Pata Negra hams. But why are they called Pata Negra? Because the hooves of Iberian pigs and their legs can be black, but this does not have to be necessarily so. It may happen that an Iberian pig does not have a black hoof and that, on the contrary, a white pig does. So, if you like to pay attention to the colour because you want to know if you’re buying a real product, let us tell you one thing: it’s a mistake. The best thing you can do is to look at the composition of the ham legs, not their tone. If they are elongated and stylised, you are in front of an authentic Iberian ham.
  4. In contrast to what is believed, the fact that Iberian ham has white dots does NOT mean that it is in bad condition, but quite the opposite! These white marks on the ham are tyrosine crystals and reveal that the curing process of the Iberian ham has been carried out correctly.
  5. Finally, a curiosity related to the food pairing of the ham: it does NOT always have to be accompanied by red wine; in fact, white wine is better! White wine has a sweeter taste than red, so instead of masking the ham flavour, it will enhance its nuances. At Enrique Tomás we recommend drinking it with wines such as manzanilla or cava and, if you combine this with Sevillian breadsticks, you will clean your palate every time and you will be able to enjoy all the nuances of Iberian ham with each slice!

Did you know these curiosities about Iberian ham? Well, now you certainly do! As the saying goes, one can never know too much!

Otros idiomas: Español


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