THE IBÉRICO PEDIGREE

Ancient History

Ibérico ham is not just the most revered meat in Spain, it also has enormous cultural significance. Archeological evidence points to pig breeding in pre-Roman times and slaughtering and curing methods have remained largely unchanged over the centuries. Ibérico ham has employed an elite group of breeders, farmers and butchers for more than two thousand years. Today it has pride of place in Spanish gastronomy and is now being discovered worldwide.

 

A Breed Apart

THE BLACK PIG is not your average pig. This noble animal is a descendant of the ancient wild boar, has long, slender legs, a strong pointed snout, and its dark, hairless skin and hooves are the result of a perfect integration into its natural environment. Only found in Spain, it’s also a larger breed than most and those extra layers of fat result in a more densely marbled meat.
Reared naturally in pristine pasturelands on an organic diet, the Ibérico ham delivers a flavor like no other pork producton the planet. THE BLACK PIG is not your average pig.

 

 

Land Owner

KING OF THE DEHESA. The Ibérico pigs are left to roam freely in the dehesa – a network of pasturelands dotted with holm and cork oaks. This complex, well-balanced and ancient eco-system survives over large areas of central and south-western Spain. Whilst foraging for acorns that fall from the oak trees, the pigs are constantly exercising, and this exercise forms the fat in its muscles, giving the meat a signature succulence and firm texture.

 

Health Caring

NUTRITIONAL VALUE sets apart Ibérico ham from the others. Ibérico pigs are left to graze upon the fruits of the dehesa – the grass and stubble, wild legumes and, above all, acorns. The distinct, buttery texture of Ibérico pig’s meat comes from the particular way the breed saturates fatty deposits into their muscles. The high anti-oxidant content found in acorns help produce oleic acid, in fact the only food product found to be higher in oleic acid is olive oil.

 

Timeless

THE CURING PROCESS of the Ibérico ham takes an astonishing two years. In ancient times the ham legs were packed in sea salt and hanged to dry in the cool winter air. Today ham legs are packed in salt for a few weeks, then under the watchful eye of ham maestros, hung in drying chambers with open windows to allow the mountain air to flow, natural flora to grow on the skins and fat to drip away. Unlike prosciutto or Parma ham, Ibérico ham is not covered in lard for the curing process, nor any other external ingredient that would affect its inherent flavor.