This post is also available in: Spanish
One of the many products beloved by Spaniards and foreigners alike is the Iberian ham. When going to a deli or market to buy Iberian ham, one can often get lost in the variety of types or cuts. Here are a couple of tips that should guarantee that you’re buying a high quality product.
First of all, there are two types of Spanish ham: Iberian ham comes from the Iberian black pig and cured ham or Serrano ham comes from white pig. They both look similar, but Iberian ham is tastier and has meat of higher quality.
There are three types of Iberian ham, according to the food the pigs are fed and the way they’re raised:
Acorn Iberian ham (Jamón Ibérico de Bellota): comes from pigs that are left freely in pasture to eat acorn and grass.
Pasture fodder Iberian ham (Jamón Ibérico de Cebo de Campo): comes from pigs that are left freely in pasture to eat fodder and grass.
Fodder Iberian ham (Jamón Ibérico de Cebo): comes from pigs that are raised in farms and fodder and legumes.
Another difference is if you buy a piece of paletilla or the front leg of the pig or ham that is the rear leg of the pig. Paletilla is supposed to be tastier, while ham is more tender and aromatic.
So if you want to buy an Iberian ham of the highest quality, you should the following tips into account:
- Make sure that you are buying ham from Iberian pig
- It should be an acorn fed pig
- Select between paletilla and ham. Our suggestion is to buy a little bit of both so that you can taste de difference
- If you want to take the ham back home, ask for it to be “embasado al vacío” or vacuum packaged.