JAMON IBERICO

Best Pork JAMON IBERICO: The Ultimate Guide (2022)

best pork Jamon iberico online

Getting to decide on the best pork Jamon Iberico can be very challenging, especially for non-Spanish natives or people new to the working of beef and pork meat. Today, you will learn exactly what you need to know in order to make the right decision about buying wholesale Jamon Iberico pork online.

Let’s dive right in and get started without wasting much time.

What is the best Pork Jamon Iberico?

The Iberian pig is a traditional breed of the domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) native to the Iberian Peninsula. The Iberian pig, whose origins can probably be traced back to the Neolithic, when animal domestication started, is currently found in herds clustered in Spain and the central and southern part of Portugal.

Pork products made from Black Iberian breed pigs receive the ibérico/a denomination. As such, jamón ibérico is the dry-cured ham produced from the livestock of said breeds.

Jamón ibérico, especially the one labeled de bellota, has a smooth texture and rich, savory taste. The fat content is relatively high compared to jamón serrano. A good ibérico ham has regular flecks of intramuscular fat known as marbling.

The Finest Ham in the World

The story of Jamón Ibérico ham is steeped in mystery and romance. The ancient oak pastures of Spain, the noble black Ibérico pig, and the mountain air which caresses each ham as it magically is transformed into one of the world’s most exquisite foods – all play a part in this uniquely Spanish phenomenon. Without each ingredient, the recipe is disturbed. Greatness can only be achieved with patience, skill, and adherence to traditional methods.

History of the Iberico Pig

The origin of the best pork Jamon Iberico pig goes back millennia, even to the time of the cavemen who decorated the caves of Spain with their art. These are the original swine of Spain, tamed over the centuries. Only in the last couple of hundred years have the pink pigs of our imagination invaded their territory.

wholesale Jamon Iberico pork online

The Iberico hog is big, with slender legs and a very long snout. Iberico pigs are black, with very little hair. They have black hooves as well, which is the source of the phrase “pata negra” which describes the black hoof that remains on the ham throughout the curing process and distinguishes it from a Serrano ham.

They are also much fatter animals with veins of fat running through the muscle of the pig. This, along with a large amount of fat layering each ham, allows the Iberico hams to be cured much longer, resulting in a much more complex, intense flavor, with a note of sweetness that is unparalleled.

Here we must make a very important point – not all Iberico pigs win the Jamon Iberico lottery and live free in the Spanish countryside. Most Jamon Iberico Jamon Iberico online is made from Iberico pigs who live normal pig lives eating corn and other feed. It is still an excellent ham, benefiting from the noble lineage of the Iberico pig. But for the ultimate ham, you must add ‘bellota’, or acorns.

As an indication of the difference, Jamon Iberico de Bellota can cost twice as much as a normal Iberico ham. So note well the difference between the two main types of Iberico ham: there is Jamon Iberico, and then there is Jamon Iberico de Bellota or acorn-fed. If they are lucky enough to be destined for Bellota status, the Iberico pigs finish their lives on the Dehesa (more on this later), in small family clans, until their day of “sacrifice” arrives.

The favorite pastime of Iberico hogs is rooting around the pastures in the Dehesa, foraging for acorns as well as herbs and grasses. All this running around feasting, especially during the acorn season, does more than make for a well-rounded, happy pig. It makes for exquisitely marbled raw material, packed with natural antioxidants – an essential ingredient for extended curing of the ham.

Which part of Iberico pork is best?

The presa is part of the head of the loin and is found at the top of the paletilla. Due to the marbling of fat, this is one of the most delicious parts of the Ibérico pig.

The bellota ham is of the highest quality since the pigs roam in pasture and oak groves (“dehesa”) to feed naturally on acorns, grass, herbs, and aromatic plants until the slaughtering time approaches.

IBERIAN PIG DIET

The diet on the other side can be divided into three groups:

  • Bellota (100% acorn-fed)
  • Cebo de Campo (some acorns, resources of the pasture, grain, and feed)
  • Cebo (only commercial feed).

The bellota ham is of the highest quality since the pigs roam in pasture and oak groves (“dehesa”) to feed naturally on acorns, grass, herbs, and aromatic plants until the slaughtering time approaches.

At that point, the diet may be strictly limited to acorns, the pig’s delicacy par excellence and key to its flavor: healthy and natural food for the pig, which adds sweetness to its meat; and the exercise of looking for those acorns, moving around the “dehesa”, creating like this it’s beautiful marbling.

Wholesale Iberico Pork Labels

In case that explanation is too confusing, in 2014 an official labeling system by color (RD 4/2014, 10th of January) was implemented that helps you to spot right away if the ham is Iberian or not, up to which percentage, and the kind of food it received. It’s the following:

  • Black, 100% Iberian, and acorn-fed. The very best “Pata Negra”.
  • Red, at least 50% Iberian, acorn-fed.
  • Green, at least 50% Iberian, “cebo de campo” (resources of the pasture and some acorns).
  • White, at least 50% Iberian, “cebo” (feed).

The elaboration of the ham itself is quite simple: all you need is salt, air, and time, controlling well the temperature and humidity throughout the process. The curing of the ham then takes at least 14 months, although some producers cure them for up to 36 months. These jamones are much darker, richer, and almost linger on your palate afterward.

But apart from its incredible taste, we haven’t told you yet the best news: the Iberian ham is actually good for your health! It is rich in proteins, calcium, and phosphorus, containing as well Vitamin B1 and B2 and iron. But above all, the acorn fed pigs have a higher proportion of monounsaturated fatty acids which actually help to reduce cholesterol! ¡Salud to that!

And since we cannot top this news, we would just like to give you some last recommendations:

  1. The Iberico, acorn-fed ham-signs of quality and exquisiteness are the intramuscular fat and small white dots. They are just the consequence of a natural curing process, traditional and artisanal. Because that is a fact, Iberico hams are much fattier than serrano hams, but this is where the power and flavor come from. So, if you buy an Iberico ham don’t be scared if you see an outer layer of fat under the skin, before getting to the meat.
  2. Use the right tools. A long flexible knife for cutting thin slices of ham and a good ham holder to hold the ham securely while you cutting.
  3. There’s a big difference between the back leg of the pig (what we call Jamón ibérico pork) and the shoulder (known as paleta ibérica). First of all, the back leg or ham is larger and weighs normally between 7 and 8,5 kg while the shoulder weighs 4-5,5 kg. The ham has less intermuscular fat, that’s why many choose a paleta over a jamón. The ham is less boney and has more meat. Also, the curing process is longer due to its larger size, and therefore, the price is higher.
iberico pork ham

Health benefits of Iberico Pork Products

Under EU regulations, 100% Ibérico pork ham can be considered a natural source of minerals (iron, zinc, phosphorous, selenium) and vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12), because it contains significant quantities (>15% than the recommended daily allowance for 100 g) of these micro-nutrients. The following health benefits are associated with the Iberian pig.

  • Ibérico pork ham facilitates the production of HDL (good cholesterol) in the body and reduces LDL (bad cholesterol). Diets rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
  • Scientific studies have concluded that consuming acorn-fed Ibérico pork ham increases the concentration of antioxidant substances.
  • Ibérico pork ham is an excellent source of protein because it contains the essential amino acids that are so important in hypocaloric diets and diets of low nutritional quality.
  • Ibérico pork ham is a good source of iron and zinc, has substantial concentrations of phosphorous and potassium, and significant amounts of other minerals like magnesium and selenium which promote anti-aging processes.
  • Ibérico pork ham is an excellent source of B vitamins like B1 (thiamine) related to appetite control and proper functioning of the nervous system; B2 (niacin), B6, and B12.
  • As a result of the curing reactions, we can find bioactive peptides (antihypertensive and antioxidant) that improve immune response and have appetite-reducing effects after consuming the best pork Jamon Iberico ham.
  • 100 grams of acorn-fed Ibérico pork ham provides around 335 calories, so a portion of 30 grams would provide around 100 calories.
  • 100% Ibérico pork ham helps reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood and helps with the formation of good cholesterol (HDL).

Is Iberico Pork ham legal in the US?

Today, sadly, Americans are denied a Spanish delicacy enjoyed by their forebears. It is against US law to import jamón ibérico – the hind leg of an Iberian pig, hoof attached, swaddled in fat, covered in a thin green layer of protective mould, occasionally sprouting wiry black pig hair – because Spain does not have a single slaughterhouse that conforms to the regulations of the US Department of Agriculture.

What is the difference between Jamon Serrano and Iberico?

Because the ham comes from different pig breeds, the flavor is different. Jamon Iberico has more fat, which causes it to be juicier than Jamon Serrano. The hams contain different fat types; Jamon Iberico has white, super soft fat, whereas Jamon Serrano’s texture is more hardened pink-toned.

Where to buy the best Iberico pork ham?

Spain is the home of Jamón Ibérico, also known as ‘pata negra.’ This delicious ham has a deep red color and a rich flavor. The Ibérico breed can only be found in Spain.

Superbly buttery, smooth, and incredibly tender, this Jamon Iberico Pata Negra is considered the best ham in the world! buy the wholesale Iberico pork or Iberico pork ham from our factory today. Also, read about our quality standards, animal welfare, and facilities.

I hope you learned something new today about what to consider before buying wholesale Iberico pork?

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