Ham

A natural food product with great nutritional value and health benefits. Its fat has a high oleic acid content, which helps you improve the level of 'good' cholesterol (HDL) and decreases the ‘bad’ one (LDL), reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

SEE QUALITY DESIGNATIONS

A Healthy and Singular Product

Cured ham is a traditional Andalusian product, one of the key elements of Spanish gastronomy and one of its hallmarks throughout the world. In the last few years it has crossed boundaries and many countries have already experienced the excellence of this product.

The elaboration of authentic cured ham is essentially a handmade process, consisting of the following stages:

Handling, preparation and salting: The salt plays a fundamental role in the dehydration of the ham and in its adequate conservation. The piece should remain salted for approximately one day per kilogram of weight.

Settling: In the settling or post-salting phase, the salt is distributed evenly throughout the piece. The duration of this process is variable and depends on the fat content of each piece.

Drying: The pieces are finally taken to the natural dryer. In this phase, the fat is evenly distributed in the muscle tissue and the ham begins to acquire its characteristic flavour and aroma.

Aging in cellar.

Andalusia has two Protected Designations of Origin covering Iberian hams and shoulders, the ‘Jabugo’ PDO and the ‘Los Pedroches’ PDO; two Protected Geographical Indications that preserve cured ham in certain areas of the provinces of Granada and Almería – PGI ‘Jamón de Trevélez’ and PGI ‘Jamón de Serón’; and a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed, the TSG ‘Jamón Serrano’.

Andalusian ham is also rich in vitamins B1 and B6, proteins and minerals such as iron, zinc and copper, all of which are beneficial for our health.

Each piece is unique and singular, so the rush is useless. Time stops in the cellars for each piece to get the best out of itself, obtaining those unrepeatable aromas and flavours that make Andalusian ham one of the world’s great gastronomic delights. They are a wealth of sensations that will flood the palate of those who have the privilege of enjoying it.

TYPES OF CURED HAM

Lovers of cured pork are usually good connoisseurs of the diverse types of ham. They can even distinguish the variety of ham before they taste it – the aroma, colour and texture are different in each case. These differences are really evident between cured Serrano ham and cured Iberian ham. Not all Serrano hams are the same, nor are Iberian hams of the same quality. There are two fundamental types when classifying this product: Serrano ham and Iberian ham. Once classified you only have to enjoy each of its varieties.

JAMÓN IBÉRICO

Iberian ham comes from the pig known as Iberian pig, which can be found particularly in the Andalusian meadows. These animals live in freedom, being exercise an essential element for them that will later affect the quality of flavour. Depending on the type of feed the pig has received, different nuances can be obtained from the tasting.

100% Iberian ham fed only with acorn is one of the most appreciated varieties. Other hams, also exquisite, come from pigs whose Iberian breed percentage is lower and have been fed with acorn, fodder and natural pastures in different proportions.

1. JAMÓN IBÉRICO DE BELLOTA. The animal feeds on acorn throughout its whole life. This kind of ham is the most exquisite ham on the market and, in turn, the most expensive.

2. JAMÓN IBÉRICO DE CEBO. The animal feeds on natural feed and pastures throughout its whole life.

Whatever its type, Iberian ham is the most coveted by lovers of this foodstuff and you can not hesitate to try a dish. Don’t leave Andalusia without experiencing this explosion of flavours and, if you can, accompany it with a good Andalusian wine.

JAMÓN SERRANO

Serrano ham comes from the white pig and its diet is based on cereal-derived feed. In this case, the variety depends on the curing time. This delight is more widespread and is usually used for sandwiches at breakfast (the most typical one is ham with oil and tomato) or as an additional ingredient for other recipes such as salmorejo, sautéed mushrooms, or any type of filling or garnish for other meats.

Certified quality in their labels

The identification of ham is mandatory by law. Thus, producers are required to identify the different types by using four types of labels.

  • Black Label: Jamón de Bellota 100% Ibérico
  • Red Label: Jamón de Bellota Ibérico
  • Green Label: Jamón de Cebo de Campo Ibérico
  • White Label: Jamón de Cebo Ibérico

Quality Denominations of Andalusia

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