The definitive guide to choose your Iberico Ham this Christmas

Delighting in the unmistakable flavor of Iberian Ham is quite an experience, a sensory journey that begins even before savoring it.

Iberian Ham is one of the most international products of Mediterranean culture and gastronomy. A unique gourmet food in the world that represents a culture, a tradition and a know-how that passes from generation to generation, and that has led it to endure over time and in the gastronomic imagination.

Enjoying the incomparable flavor of Iberian Ham takes only a few seconds, but preparing this product, admired throughout the world, takes a long time. It emerges from a traditional, natural and long manufacturing process that pampers each piece of Iberian Ham for years and culminates in the sensory enjoyment of an exclusive product.

Did you know that the production process of an Iberico Ham can last up to four, five, six or even more years to develop that unmistakable aroma and flavor? We tell you about it thanks to the European promotion campaign ‘Iberian Hams from Spain, ambassadors of Europe in the World’.

Camilo José Cela used to say that ham is a morsel typical of the blessed. The influential Spanish writer was rightly aware of that exceptional flavor explosion on our palates that occurs when you taste Iberian Ham.

choose iberian ham

Before choosing your piece this Christmas, you should find out about the characteristics that make Iberian Ham a unique product in the world, from the four existing categories on the market, to the quality guarantees offered by the Iberian sector that will help you identify an authentic Iberian Ham. Here are some useful tips so that your Iberico Ham is the most appetizing and expected dish of these holidays:

Four seals, four colors, four categories of Iberian Ham

Native to the Iberian Peninsula, the Iberian breed is the centerpiece of a lifestyle that revolves around Iberian hams. Together with the breed, the type of food and the management that the animal receives is another of the great criteria that allows us to distinguish the different categories of Iberico Ham on the market.

The key is in the seal and in its colour, whether it is the Iberian Quality Standard (with the logo of the Interprofesional del Cerdo Ibérico, ASICI) or one of the four Iberico Protected Designation of Origin that we find in Spain (with the corresponding PDO logo).

There is no room for doubt, the seal is the guarantee that the Ham is indeed Iberian. There are 4 seals, 4 colors (black, red, green and white), and 4 categories of Iberico depending on the breed and the type of food and management received by the animal:

  • The black seal identifies the 100% Iberico Bellota Ham.
  • The red seal is that of the Iberian Bellota Ham.
  • The green seal corresponds to the Cebo de Campo Ibérico Ham.
  • The white seal identifies the Iberian Cebo Ham.

How do I identify an Iberico Ham with the naked eye?

  • The piece must be identified with one of the four Standard seals or one of the four existing Denominations of Origin. It is the best guarantee.
  • You must check that the piece is elongated, stylized and with a fine shaft.
  • It is important to pay attention to the external fat that covers the piece. If it has a yellowish hue and sinks to the touch easily, then this is an Iberian Ham.
  • The slices emerge with an exceptional intense red color in perfect contrast with the veining typical of the Iberian breed that provides that unmistakable flavor, texture and aroma.

Enjoy it in optimal conditions

enjoy iberico ham

A good plate of Iberian Ham is always present. It is putting a plate on the table and there is no one who can resist. Therefore, to enjoy it in all its splendor, a Proper preservation of the product is essential. In addition, we must observe the cut and the temperature.

  1. The slices must be even and thin, on a smooth white plate that allows the Iberico Ham to be the center of attention.
  2. The ideal temperature for consumption is 24 °C, to maintain the aroma and favor the optimal texture and flavor of the product. It is not advisable in any way to heat the plate in which the slices are to be placed.
  3. In the event that the option chosen to consume the Iberico Ham is the blister pack or unit package, it is advisable to keep it in the fridge and take it out for consumption at least two hours in advance. If you forgot to do it, you can submerge it for a few moments in warm water. Of course, open the blister 30 minutes before serving it.
  4. Conservation of Iberian Ham: should be stored in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight. So that it maintains all its qualities, leave the outer layer of the part that you are not going to cut uncleaned. Finally, just cover it with a cotton cloth to protect it from light and moisture.

All the information about Iberian Ham on your Smartphone

info iberian ham

The Iberian sector, through ASICI, has opted for digitization to gain reliability, efficiency and transparency for today’s consumer. The result of this effort is the APP Ibérico, a free application for mobile devices that allows you to check the traceability of the pieces and verify that they comply with current regulations, thanks to the reading of the unique and individual barcode that appears on each Norma seal. .

All you have to do is focus on the barcode on the seal to access the traceability information for that piece and find out, through some interactive icons, the type of product, food, curing time or the origin of the animal that produced it. place to the piece.

You can now download the IBÉRICO app, it is free and available for IOS and Android.

Integration of Iberian ham in gastronomy

In addition to being an unmistakable icon of the Mediterranean Diet, Iberian Ham has become a an essential companion in avant-garde kitchens around the world. A product of this caliber offers a wide range of culinary possibilities thanks to its versatility, as the Chef Ambassador of Spain’s Iberian Hams, Mario Sandoval, chef with two Michelin stars and world ambassador of Spain’s Iberian Hams, points out: “It is the perfect bite, with a mystical part reflected in its different nuances and flavors”.

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