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10 facts about jamon Iberico

Why Jamon Iberico is not Serrano and why is so healthy

Are you looking for a healthier alternative to processed meats? You are in the right place, then. Check out our list about all these things you probably don´t know about jamon Iberico. You will be surprised!

jamon iberico

What is Iberico Ham?

#1- Is this exactly a leg? Sure it is! Jamon Iberico is the meat from the back legs of Iberico breed pork. It cures and ages in a traditional and natural process, preserving all its qualities. On the other hand, we have paleta, which is the meat of the front legs. Different type of meat: a smaller, rounder and sweeter shoulder ham. 

#2- Why jamon pata negra? Yes, we know, "black leg" sounds awful but tastes like heaven. Pata negra is a name for the black hoof of the 100% Iberico pork, meaning that it's a pure Iberico breed animal, acorn fed, living freely outdoors in La Dehesa for at least 60 days. Always be careful with imitations, only accept 100% Iberico de Bellota ham as a real pata negra.

Is all Iberico the same?

#3- La Dehesa is the favorite place in the world for Iberico breed. It's an amazing landscape, from central and south Spain. Could you imagine a vast Mediterranean forest, full of oak, cork and olive trees? There the pork eats happily acorn, grass and all the natural fruits that La Dehesa provides for them. They move freely, which is great to create more quality fat around its muscles. This place is the core for an extraordinary jamon de bellota.

But sometimes there are animals that would not gain the right weight with this natural Dehesa diet. In that case, some animal feed is required. In that case, the ham that they will produce will be called "de cebo de campo". And you could also find a type of Spanish ham called only "de cebo". This means that the animal lives indoor with only animal feed. Please, notice the difference because all the 3 products will be very different.

#4-  100% Iberico and only Iberico is not the same. Here numbers talk and that 100% is the warranty of a reall acorn fed animal from 100% Iberico breed. Just Iberico means only a 50% of real Iberico breed in that pork.

Differences between Spanish Hams

#5- No, jamon iberico is definitely not jamon serrano. You should know that they come from a different kind of pork raised in different conditions. Even their shape is different.  Don´t hesitate in learning more about Serrano-Iberico difference.

Why is so healthy?

#6- Iberico ham is NOT a processed meat. Please, don't ever put it in the same category than salami or bacon. Iberico is above them all. Most of doctors agree in its health benefits. It comes from a high-quality pork breed, raised in amazing natural conditions, with acorn based diet. All is natural, even the process of curation. Yes, you have to use salt for that, a lot of salt, but in comparison with Parma ham, for example, jamon iberico only has between 2'5-4% and Parma 5'7%. It has an amazing natural fat, what it makes  this Spanish jamon rich in proteins and low in calories. 

#7- Doesn't make you fat. On the opposite, some researchs have found out that is a pretty good food to include on your loosing weight diet.

#8- It's a pretty good friend for your good cholesterol. Guess what? Iberico ham composition is similar to olive oil. It has more than 55% of oleic acid, the number one fighter of LDL (bad cholesterol).

Jamon Iberico in the US

#9- Iberico ham came into the U.S only a decade ago by Fermín. They were the first ones in surviving the FDA requirements. Nowadays, there are more available brands in the American market. And the first Iberico ham produced entirely in the U.S is expected for next year. You have where to choose.

#10- D.O are important. D.O stands for "denominación de origen" and they are the official quality seals of production areas. For jamon iberico, there are 4 D.O: Huelva, Pedroches, Dehesa de Extremadura and Guijuelo. Remember those names if you want to become a real jamon pro.

If you need a healthy choice for your family, a natural product with a great taste, Spanish Iberico ham will bring a lot of joy to your place. Maybe you´ll also need some tips to enjoy Spanish ham properly.

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