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Types of Spanish Hams: Iberian & Serranos

iberian ham types

Spanish ham types

In Spain different types of hams are produced from pigs of different races, giving rise essentially to two types of ham: the iberian ham and the serrano ham.

This great variety of iberian and Serrano ham classes open on the market a wide range of flavors, aromas and textures ideal for different consumers and lovers of gourmet, being the star product for most of them the 100% iberian acorn ham with Denomination of Origin.

To clarify a little the differences between each type of ham we will clarify where each type of ham comes from, food, and many other factors so that you can get a better idea of the products offered in the market and you get some basic notions to be able choose the hams that best fit your needs.

Types of Iberian hams

Iberian ham types

Iberian ham types

Iberian ham is considered the best ham for its excellent gastronomic properties. These hams come from pigs with at least 50% of iberian breed, which provides excellent grease intertwined, flavor, aroma and texture.

This type of ham, coming from iberian pigs, have a more stylized cane, are usually smaller and have a higher percentage of fat interspersed, since their characteristics allow a greater infiltration of it.

Although for most consumers 100% iberian ham is of a higher quality, the different types of breed they cross bring different organoleptic nuances, shapes and sizes opening a large range of classes of iberian hams for consumers, although In most cases they will ignore these very specific characteristics. As a general rule, most iberian pig crosses are made with Duroc Jersey pigs as a complementary breed which provides very good organoleptic characteristics to Iberian hams, benefits pig fattening and increases the number of offspring the mothers.

According to the latest classification established in Royal Decree 4/2014, of January 10, approving the quality standard for meat, ham, trowel and iberian loin, we can distinguish the following types of spanish iberian hams:

TYPE 1: 100% iberian acorn spanish ham

Acorn 100% iberian ham type

Acorn 100% iberian ham type

The 100% iberian acorn ham is the highest quality ham among the different types of Iberian ham. It is a ham from pigs of pure Iberian breed raised in freedom and fed in montanera with acorns in the meadows of oaks and cork oaks.

Read more info: Acorn 100% iberian ham



acorn iberian ham types

Acorn iberian ham types

The iberian acorn ham is the best 2nd quality ham among the different types of Iberian ham. These are hams from pigs raised in freedom and fed on alpine with acorn of excellent quality in the meadows.

These hams can come from pigs with 50% or 75% of Iberian racial percentage, and that percentage should be indicated on hams. How it is logical will be the racial percentage that makes the difference in hams and crosses with other races the greater or less infiltration of intramuscular fat, flavors, aromas and textures. The Duroc pork, widely used for these crosses, gives the ham infiltrations that soften and tune the whole flavor, according to many ham masters.

* At the same price always choose a ham with a lower racial purity, but that has been fed in montanera.

Read more info: acorn iberian ham


Iberian bait ham type

Iberian bait ham type

The  field bait iberian ham is the iberian ham of lower quality among those who enjoy freedom during their breeding and fattening. This is because these hams do not enjoy acorns, or not enough to be considered that they have been fed in montanera.

These hams must have an iberian racial percentage of at least 50%, and can be up to 100% iberian, which is why it should be indicated in the same for consumers to know.

Although these hams do not enjoy the precious acorns that such a good texture, flavor and aroma provide, if they enjoy enough ground to perform daily exercise, strengthening the muscles and favoring the infiltrations of fat interspersed that taste good to the Iberian ham. In addition, these pigs feed on all sorts of aromatic plants and natural pastures, along with their feed as natural as possible.

Read more info: field bait iberian ham


wholesale Iberian field bait spanish hams types

Iberian field bait hams types

The iberian bait ham is the ham of lower quality inside the Iberian ham. It is a ham from pigs raised in intensive feedlots and fed with feed composed of cereals and legumes. These hams may have an Iberian racial percentage of 50%, 75% or 100%.

Read more info: bait iberian ham

In addition to the factors indicated, it is necessary to take into account the weight of the ham and the price thereof.

  • Ham weight: The weight of the pure Iberian hams is usually around 7 kg. This is because these Iberian pigs have a smaller bone structure to be of smaller size, being difficult to get over 8kg. In their hams.
  • Prices of ham: 100% Iberian acorn hams need a very long preparation period for its adequate cure and can be put up for sale at the optimum time for consumption. These hams have a process of elaboration of about 5 years of average from the birth of the pigs until their sale. If we also increase their cost by having a breeding in freedom and feeding in montanera with daily exercise that causes them to take longer to take weight and need more food, causes that the prices of hams must respect a minimum prices to cover the costs of the process Of elaboration that all the manufacturers must respect not to incur losses.
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