Spanish Iberico Hams
The Iberico ham has a unique taste and melt in the mouth flavour. Iberico hams are regarded as the best cured hams in the world, taste the flavour, the texture and smell the distinct aroma and you will discover why.
What is an Iberico Ham?
To begin we have to look at the pigs from which the Iberico ham comes from. This very special ham comes from the native black hoof pig or pata negra, the descendents of wild boar. The production of these hams accounts for only 7% to 8% of all cured hams in Spain due to the slow and expensive method of feeding and rearing. All of our Iberian Hams are of the highest quality, the pigs from which our hams come from have been raised with individual care and attention, which continues throughout the whole curing process. The result is a heavenly gourmet experience not likened to anything else.
We are proud to work closely with one of the most established ‘secaderos’ or curing houses in Cordoba, “Señorio de los Pedroches,” a family run business with more than 30 years experience in the field. All of our Iberian hams come direct from the Pedroches Valley in beautiful Villanueva, Cordoba. These exquisite Iberian hams carry the ‘Denominacion de Origen’ quality stamp of ‘Los Pedroches.’ This stamp recognised throughout the European Union, guarantees and protects the products authenticity. The whole process from rearing to curing is carried out under strictly controlled guidelines, and each Jamon and Paleta has it’s own unique identity number guaranteeing quality and ensuring traditional methods are followed, using only the finest local produce.
The beautiful meadows in the heart of the Pedroches Valley in the north of Cordoba are home to the world famous Iberian pigs who are allowed to roam free, live a life of luxury and are reared free range on a diet of acorns an meadow pasture.Each bellota product come from pigs fed on a privileged diet of solely acorns which are natural to the valley and which gives the hams their much sought after unique taste and aroma which is delicately reminiscent of the meadowland. The native Iberian race of hogs from this area are the only breed who are able to transform their acorn diet into a final product of sensual aromas, ruby red flesh and delicate exquisite taste incomparable to anything else. Similarly recebo hams are a result of pigs fed on a mixture of acorns and compound feed which results in succulent meat with its own distinct taste and texture.
All of our paletas or Iberian front legs are the ideal choice for entry into this unique world of the Iberian Ham. They offer the same exquisite taste and aroma as their larger back legs, but allow you to enjoy a luxurious product at a favorable price.
Every one of these hams is given the individual attention demanded by such high quality products and the whole curing process from the salting to the resting, is carried out by hand following traditional recipes.
The curing process takes place in the cold dry air of this beautiful mountain range under the strict supervision of the master jamonero who ensures the temperature and humidity levels are exactly right for the perfect Iberian ham.
Each ham remains in the quietness of the bodega to be cured for the precise amount of time that piece requires, resulting in an extraordinary ham with a unique and individual taste and aroma, that we are privileged to be able to offer you.
Grades of Iberian ham
It is worth noting that there are five different grades of Iberico ham. Not every Iberian pig enjoys a diet of acorns (bellotas) so flavours do vary according to which ham you choose. Curing times also vary between 24 and 36 months. Iberian hams from the valley of Los Pedroches are approved by the “Consejo Regulador Los Pedroches” (governing body) together with the Ministry of Food who continually monitor production and oversee practice.
The five grades of Iberian ham:
Denominacion de Origen (D.O): Iberian pigs where the Mother is as pure bred as possible and no less than 70% Iberico strain. Every stage from breeding to final curing is approved by the regulatory body. Curing time is a minimum of 36 months
Bellota: Free range pigs that feed on acorns and grass, curing time is a minimum of 30 months.
Recebo: Free range pigs that are fed on a mixed diet of acorns and compound feed. Curing time is a minimum of 24 months.
Cebo: Iberian pigs (not free range) fed solely on compound feed. Curing time is a minimum of 24 months.
Cebo de Campo: Iberian pigs fed on a compound diet but which are also free range. Curing time is a minimum of 24 months.