Its Story Is As Amazing As Its Flavor
Experts commonly declare Ibérico ham the best in the world and consider it one of the jewels of world cuisine, alongside caviar, foie gras and vintage wines. It is a delicacy, expensive to produce and a truly artisanal product. The Ibérico pig is no ordinary animal. Descended from early Mediterranean wild boars, these pigs are easily recognized by their dark, almost black, skins and downwardly pointing ears. They can grow to about 396 pounds in 12 months, at which point they are ripe for slaughter. Ibérico pigs are the last type of pigs in Europe to enjoy pannage, or pasturage—meaning they are never confined to cages or pens. They eat a natural diet of spring-fed grasses, cereals, acorns, bulbs and roots. The physical exercise that comes from free-range grazing gives their meat greater density and a finer texture.
At A Glance:
- The finest Spanish dry-cured ham
- Pigs are free ranging, never confined to cages or pens
- Pigs graze on grasses, herbs and acorns
- Curing and aging is an 18-month cycle, but can go for more than 24 months, depending on the weight of the ham
- Produced from USDA-approved slaughterhouses