Iberico ham is one of the greatest treasures of Spanish gastronomy and one of the most highly valued gourmet products both at home and abroad. However, there are different qualities available on the market that can often be misleading when selecting a ham that reflects the true value of this gastronomic gem.
Tips on how to select the best acorn-fed Iberico ham
The value of the best acorn-fed 100% Iberico ham lies in the essence of the dehesa pasturelands, combined with the mastery of expert hands dedicated in body and soul to the care of an artisanal product. Below are the keys to understanding why Señorío de Montanera is the best acorn-fed Iberico ham for you to choose this Christmas.
Breed and diet
The quality of the best Iberico ham is based on two key pillars: the 100% Iberian breed and its exclusive diet based on acorns during the montanera season.
At Señorío de Montanera, we defend the purity of the Iberian breed as a commitment to preserving a livestock production that is unique in the world, and that guarantees the quality of the best Iberian products. We have a long tradition in pig farming and we manage 60,000 hectares in the Dehesa de Extremadura where our own 100% Iberian pigs are reared in the wild, enjoying more than 3 hectares of land per animal. A natural diet, based on acorns and natural resources that the pig finds in the dehesa pastures, is responsible for the excellent aroma and flavour of the best acorn-fed Iberico products.
Traditional Production Methods
Señorío de Montanera produces its acorn-fed 100% Iberico ham using purely traditional methods, a trade passed down from generation to generation, resulting in unique products.
A slow maturation for over four years at the mercy of the silence of the cellars and natural drying rooms refines the flavour and aroma, yielding a remarkably exquisite gourmet product.
Would you be able to recognise a top-quality acorn-fed Iberico ham?
Acorn-fed 100% Iberico ham is a gourmet product with a unique personality. To identify a top-quality Iberico ham you need to look out for the following aspects:
- Colour of the hoof: Generally black in 100% Iberian pigs, which is why the attribute “pata negra” is so common. However, certain Iberian breeds have a mottled hoof, and therefore, the colour of the hoof isn’t a determining factor and we must look for other qualities to recognise the maximum quality in a piece of Iberico ham.
- Black seal: This label, which must be tamper-proof and numbered, identifies that the ham (or shoulder ham) comes from an acorn-fed 100% Iberian pig. At Señorío de Montanera, we also include a second seal, also black, with the identification number of the piece to ensure the complete traceability of all our products.
- Shape of Iberico ham:The piece must be slender, with good muscle tone, a sign of the Iberian pig's activity in the pasture; with a slender leg and narrow shank at the end. The fat coating is yellowish in colour and soft in texture, and should yield slightly to the touch. Señorío de Montanera produces its hams in the characteristic serrano “V” shape, which is traditional to optimise the curing period of Iberico hams. The weight of each piece ranges between 6 and 9 kg for hams and 4 and 4.5 kg for shoulder hams.
- Protected Designation of Origin: The P.D.O. certification is an unequivocal guarantee of quality, and ensures that exhaustive external controls are carried out on the products it covers. Señorío de Montanera has been the leader in the production of acorn-fed pure Iberico products from the Protected Designation of Origin Dehesa de Extremadura, the most demanding of the Iberian sector in Spain.
- Label and traceability: The label on the Iberico ham must contain all the information about the product, the quality specification and the name of the independent control body, if it complies with the Iberico Quality Standard. At Señorío de Montanera, we also include a traceability passport with specific and individual data on the piece (farm of origin, period of time spent in montanera by the pure Iberian pig, amount of acorns ingested, curing period, etc.). In addition, you can get even more information by entering the piece number into the website’s traceability section.
Prominent characteristics of acorn-fed Iberico Ham
Once started, the Señorío de Montanera acorn-fed 100% Iberico ham has the qualities of the best gourmet product in terms of appearance, flavour and aroma.
- The cut: When cut, it has an intense bright red colour, with the right amount of infiltrated fat, for that marbled appearance, almost translucent, in each slice.
- Flavour and aroma: The Señorío de Montanera acorn-fed 100% Iberico ham has a warm and deep aroma, with hints of nuts. With an intense and round flavour, the fat melts in the mouth and floods the palate with the purest flavours of the oak forests of Extremadura. A gourmet product destined to delight even the most refined palates.
Acorn-fed 100% Iberico ham is one of the best gourmet products produced exclusively in Spain Its unique flavour is well known both in Spain and abroad. At Señorío de Montanera we are fully convinced of the quality of our products. So much so that in our online store, customers can find the best acorn-fed Iberico ham with the guarantee that, if they are not satisfied with their ham, we will address any issues, in our position as the leading brand in the production of pure Iberico ham from the Designation of Origin Dehesa de Extremadura.