It’s one of the true tastes of authentic Spain, meat made from pigs raised in the same way for generations.
Ibérico ham is a delicacy loved by people all over the world.
Its distinctive, rich taste comes from its fat content, which is higher than that of Serrano ham.
Good Ibérico hams have fat marbled through them.
The Spanish demominación de origen rules say the ham must be made from black Ibérico pigs or cross-breed pigs which are at least 50% Ibérico.
This breed of pig lives in Spain and Portugal and is fattened on maize and barley immediately after weaning.
Then, they are allowed to roam and feed on acorns, grass, herbs and roots.
Towards the end of their lives, the pigs are fed solely on acorns or olives to give the best quality meat.
Hams are salted and dried for two weeks, then washed and left to dry for another month or six weeks.
The curing process then begins. That lasts between one and four years.
Hams are labelled with the feed they were given and the percentage of Ibérico black pig in their make-up.
The jamón Ibérico de bellota (acorn-fed) is considered the finest ham. This is made from free-range pigs which are allowed to roam oak forests.
This ham is cured for three years and comes in black label (from pure-bred pigs) or red label (from cross-bred pigs).
The jamón Ibérico cebo de campo is made from pigs which are fed on acorns and corn. It has a green label.
The white-labelled jamón Ibérico de cebo is made with ham from pigs which are fed only on corn and it is matured for two years.
Three authentic Andalusian ways to cook with Ibérico ham
- Plato alpujarreno – a lunch or breakfast dish featuring Ibérico ham, chorizo, local black pudding or morcilla, eggs, and potatoes.
- Migas – add ham, sausage, olive oil, garlic, and dried red pepper (pimentón) to a base of breadcrumbs, and fry or cook over hot coals.
- Puchero – a soup made with any available meat, ham or bacon, cured bones like the ham bone, potatoes, celery, chard, leeks, carrots, turnips, chickpeas, boiled eggs, rice, or noodles.
Would you like to get that traditional taste? Try our:
Ibérico de bellota salami – perfect for tapas. Made from the best acorn-fed ham.
Sliced Ibérico de bellota ham – ideal for cooking or tapas dishes, slices of the very best ham made from pigs fed on acorns.
Morcilla Ibérica – a black pudding made from Ibérico pig fat, blood, lean meat, salt, and spices. Try this with your breakfast!
Shop for more of our meats from Andalusia here.