The Iberian ham comes from the Iberian pig, originally from the Iberian peninsula, with at least 50% purity being admitted to be called “Iberian ham”. When used to dry the term “ham” without bearing the surname “Iberian” usually refers to “ham serrano”. The main characteristics that distinguish the Iberian hams in their quality are derived from the purity of the breed of the animals, the breeding in the extensive regime of freedom of the Iberian pig in dehesasarboladas where they can move widely and to perform physical, of the feeding that follows the Pork in the montanera period, and finally the healing of the ham, which usually extends between 8 to 36 months, requiring more healing time the larger the size of the piece and the greater amount of acorn has ingested the pig.
Jamon Iberico “Bellota”
The ideal feed for pigs to offer quality hams is the combination between acorn and pasture. The herb provides the missing proteins to the acorn, rich in fatty acids and carbohydrates. The acorn, the fruit of the oak, the reed, the reed, the cork, the oak and the oak (all trees of the Querqu family), is especially important in the final phase of the productive cycle, at the foot of the tree. Constitutes the montanera.
The oak and cork oak are the most frequent types in the areas of Mediterranean meadow, so much that at present occupy in Spain a surface near the 3.5 million hectares. The annual production is estimated at about 10 or 15 kilos per tree and harvest, although this figure is highly variable according to the climate, the age of the tree and its pruning system.
Acorn production is concentrated in the autumn-winter months and is generally used extensively (direct grazing) by swine and ruminants.
The composition of acorns varies considerably from genera of Quercus to others. The one that we see in the tables corresponds to acorns of oak and cork oak, although it must be taken into account that the one of cork oak contains something more of protein and less of fiber than the one of oak. This last one, determinant for the flavor of the product, only takes place in winter, between the months of November and February.