Learn to enjoy Iberian

The tastings teach how to distinguish this type of Iberian ham from the rest, as well as its four designations of origin and different qualities

Iberian ham is by no means unknown. But there is a series of confusions when it comes to not only recognizing it, but knowing exactly what it is that distinguishes it from others. Acorn? Black paw? Jabugo? Guijuelo? Terms that everyone has heard of at some point, but whose definition is not quite clear. For this reason, stores such as Reserva Ibérica with two locations in Barcelona and one in Sant Cugat, have begun to organize tastings aimed at providing some basic knowledge that will allow you to enjoy Iberian ham even more, as well as its different denominations of origin.

One of the master classes led by Manel López, director of the premises and heir to a family tradition that started in La Boquería, which begins with a definition that leaves no room for doubt: “Iberian ham is only that which comes from the Iberian breed itself. of the southwest of the Peninsula and that grazes through the dehesas, that is to say, Mediterranean forests formed by trees such as cork oaks and holm oaks”. From there, he slips another fundamental fact, and that is that there are four DOs in which this high-end product is made: Guijuelo (Salamanca), Dehesa de Extremadura, Jabugo (in fact, the most appropriate name would be DO Huelva), and the Pedroches (Cordoba).


Iberico Ham Tasting in Barcelona. Dictated by Manuel López, ham tuner and director of Reserva Ibérica

OF ACORN . In this way, the participant in the tasting already knows that it will only be Iberian ham that comes from these places. But, in addition, there are various qualities within these DO. The best, and the rarest, is the so-called acorn-fed ham, which is the fruit of pigs raised in freedom and fed solely on the basis of this fruit. In the tasting, this type of ham from the various DOs is tasted, to distinguish their differences. Another option is to take a pack home with these four options. Oh, and that pata negra, is nothing more than a marketing term, according to Manel López, which was used to strain a ham that was not Iberian.

Posted by The Newspaper
Text by Eduard Palomares

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