icon Jamón Ibérico
from Pierluigi Corradini

Jamón ibérico is a cured ham from Spain. It is made from the Black Iberian Pig, typically in the provinces of Salamanca, Ciudad Real, Cáceres, Badajoz, Seville, Córdoba and Huelva. The curing process takes several years.

The difference between Jamón serrano and Jamón ibérico lies in the race of the pig. Jamón serrano comes from the white pig, the same pig raised in most countries, like the Italian prosciutto. Jamón ibérico comes from the Iberian race of pig. The jamón ibérico de bellota (acorn-fed Iberian ham) has the unique ability to transform more than half of its fat into good fat with properties similar to oleic acid like olive oil. This is the only race of pig that can do this.

Jamón ibérico is normally served as a starter, freshly sliced, very thin, with small slices served on a plate. It is usually eaten straight with no accompaniments, but there may be a bit of fresh bread on the side.

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Last updated: November 1, 2010
Photograph from Wikimedia Commons used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.