Guide and labels of Iberian ham.
How to differentiate Iberian ham, ham is really a product that is identified with Spanish culture, and even vegetarians can give in to a small bite. Its use is very widespread and it is difficult to avoid it in our kitchen, since it adds a lot of flavor to any dish: For example with fried eggs and potatoes, with some artichokes, in pasta or in soups. Give any dish a delicious flavor!
But the best way to discover and enjoy all its unique and much appreciated characteristics, is simply to eat it without anything, without bread, without anything. Combined with a good wine, of course.
That’s why it’s important to know the Iberian ham guide and how to differentiate it.
The Iberian race
The breed from which our precious ham comes is the Iberian pig. This is a black pig that is a mixture between our boar and the pigs that the Phoenicians brought to the peninsula thousands of years ago.
However, with regard to ham, the percentage of this breed can vary: therefore, you can find 100% Iberian hams (both parents were Iberian, purebred), but also 75% or 50% when they crossed with other pigs like the Duroc.
The diet of the Iberian pig
The diet of the Iberian pig can be divided into three groups:
- Acorn (100% acorn)
- Field bait (some acorns, grasses, grain and other foods)
- Bait (only commercial feed).
Acorn ham is of the highest quality, as the pigs are free through the dehesas and feed naturally on acorns, herbs and aromatic plants, until the time of slaughter approaches.
The diet can be strictly limited to acorns, it is the delicacy of the pig par excellence and the key to its flavor. Healthy and natural food for the pig, which adds sweetness to its meat.
To avoid confusion, in 2014 an official color labeling system was implemented (RD 4/2014, January 10) that helps detect if the ham is Iberian or not, up to what percentage and the type of food it received.
In concrete it is labeled is the following:
- Black, 100% Iberian and acorn. The best of «Pata Negra».
- Red, at least 50% Iberian, of acorn.
- Green, at least 50% Iberian, «field bait» (grass resources and some acorns).
- White, at least 50% Iberian, «bait» (I think)
Processing and drying.
The preparation of the ham itself is quite simple: what you need is salt, air and time, controlling the temperature and humidity well during the whole process.
The cure of the ham needs at least 14 months, although some hams are cured for up to 36 months. These hams are much darker, richer and persist in their flavor on the palate for a long time ..
But, apart from its incredible flavor, Iberian ham is really good for your health! It is rich in protein, calcium and phosphorus, and contains a high content of vitamins B1, B2 and iron. But above all, acorn-fed pigs have a higher proportion of monounsaturated fatty acids that actually help reduce cholesterol! Healthy foods from Spain!
And given this great news, we offer you an extraordinary Pata Negra Acorn Iberian ham with a natural, traditional and artisanal curing process.
! Try our delicious 100% ibericos hams, source of health!