Every Iberian ham is normally known as Jamón de Jabugo or Jamón de Pata Negra without taking into account the purity of the pig’s breed. We’re sorry to break your knowledge down, but it isn’t as it seems. Beforehand, it is not easy to distinguish between all types of ham, its variants and all the shades we can find in the ham’s world, which are not few.
We want you to have a clue when buying a ham, so we’ll explain some of the most important features regarding hams and its world.
There are different possible classifications: breed (Iberian or white pig), breed’s purity (if it is 50% or 100%) and type of feed (Acorn, bait or both mixed) that the pig followed in its growing season. Finally, the classification would be as follows:
Bellota 100% Iberian ham: This means that the pig is 100% Iberian breed and has been fed with acorns and natural pastures until they reach 50 kg. To be considered 100%, both parents must be of Iberian breed. The colour of its label is black and this is the highest quality Iberian ham.
Bellota 50% Iberian ham: This means that the pig is 50% Iberian breed. The mother is Iberian breed and the father is duroc breed. As in the Bellota 100% Iberian ham, the pig has been fed with acorns and natural pastures until they reach 50 kilos. The colour of his label is red and they very high quality hams.
Cebo de Campo Iberian Ham: This means the pig has been fed with pastures, feeding stuffs and some acorns. They are raised in large spaces since the pork can move; the ham is of better quality contributing the infiltration of fats. Its label’s colour is dark green and this would be the most similar equivalent to the extinguished Recebo ham.
Cebo Iberian Ham: This means that the pork has been only fed with feeds until they reach the minimum age and weight to be slaughtered. Its label is white regardless the purity of it breed.
There are designations of origin. Basically, those are certifications about the origin of the pork, and the ham as a result. This will help us to know the origin of the pig, where it has been raised and sacrificed. Within these classifications, the most popular are Jabugo-Huelva, Guijuelo (Salamanca) and Dehesas de Extremadura.
We want you to know what you purchase since buying good hams is about confidence. As you have seen, ham is about tastes, drying periods and previous feeding. If you want to buy the highest quality hams, we recommend you to buy Iberian Hams here.