Jamón Ibérico, the Crown Jewel
Jamón Ibérico or Iberian Ham is the most expesive and famous cured meat from Spain. The story about how Iberian Pigs are raised in the dehesas and how they are fed acorns is quite remarkable. It is also quite appealing to know how the aging process takes years before the ham can be sold.
Iberian Ham has a special story behind that stands out for its uniqueness and excellence.
This is a product that you have to try at least once in your life to experience its taste, richness and intensity. You can buy the whole leg, acorn fed or not acorn fed, sliced, bone less…
There are a few options for you to try it. Take a look!
GET ANY OF THESE PRODUCTS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
5J: Acorn Fed Iberian Ham / Jamón Ibérico de Bellota
5J: Acorn Fed Iberian Ham + KIT / Jamón Ibérico de Bellota + KIT
Carmen & Lola: Acorn Fed Iberian Ham + KIT / Jamón Ibérico de Bellota + KIT
Covap: Acorn Fed Iberian Ham + KIT / Jamón Ibérico de Bellota + KIT
Fermín: Sliced 100% Iberian Acorn-Fed Ham / Jamón Ibérico de Bellota 100% Loncheado
Fermin: Hand-Carved 100% Iberian Acorn-Fed Ham / Jamón Ibérico de Bellota 100% Cortado a Mano
HELECHAL: Sliced Iberian Ham (no acorns) / Jamón Ibérico de Cebo Loncheado
How Did All This Start?
It is popularty known that it is during the Roman Empire when people in Spain started to produce cured ham properly. As it happened with many other meats, the best way to preserve it was by adding salt and letting it dry. 2000 years ago it was usually accepted to cured the whole animal, in this case a pig, but it was the legs one of the most demanded gourmet foods. These cured legs ended up on the table of the richest and most powerful people in the society at that time.
Probably the curing process was not as perfect as it is nowadays, but they managed quite well the way of getting an edible, dry and tasty meat. This way of preserving the food with salt made quite easy for those societies to survive during winter and during any other period in which the lack of food was a common situation.
Evolution of This Delicacy
Later, during the Middle Ages, thanks to the Church and the work o many monasteries, this ancient technique of preserving ham and other meat survived until modern times. As it happened with most of the knowledge, if monks had not kept this information, we would not be able to enjoy this amazing bite today.
After the Middle Ages and once more and more people were able to reach this knowledge, people in Spain kept curing regular white pigs’ hams. It wasn’t until late 1800’s and early 1900’s when people decided to try this process with another kind of pig. In this case it was a wild pig which was commonly found in the western areas of the country, where holm oaks usually grow. This wild pig was what we nowadays know as Cerdo Ibérico or Iberian Pig.
As you can see with this short explanation, tradition has a huge influence in the production of Jamón Ibérico. Without the knowledge adquired during more than 2000 years, it would have been impossible to develop such a delicacy.