WHY IS AN IBERIAN RESERVE HAM SPECIAL?
To obtain the best pieces of acorn-fed Iberian ham, our team personally travels to the pastures of the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, in search of the best purebred Iberian pig farms, and examines the pieces one by one. This close and privileged relationship with the areas of origin allows us to access the best pieces of each vintage, in each Denomination of Origin. We work with small artisan producers, authentic guardians of a centuries-old tradition.
Selecting the hams one by one is a slow process, which involves observing their size, shape and color, feeling their consistency, appreciating their aroma... We dedicate a lot of time and effort to our work to obtain the best acorn-fed Iberico ham. But the result is worth it. Thanks to this, we guarantee that, no matter what piece you choose in any of our stores, you will be tasting one of the best Iberian products in the world. Only the best of the best deserves the Reserva Ibérica seal.
SHAPE AND COLOR
The lean part of a Reserva Ibérica acorn-fed Iberian ham is an intense, bright red, with intense garnet hues in the deepest and most cured areas close to the bone. The marbling is fine, white or pink, and almost translucent: this indicates that the infiltrated fat is of good quality and has a high content of oleic acid. The outer fat layer of Reserva Ibérica Iberico hams has a golden hue, rather than yellow, and evolves towards pink in the parts closest to the cut.
A piece of a genuine acorn-fed Iberian ham has a stylized shape. The purer the breed, the finer the bone in the ankle portion. And a long distance between the hoof and the muscle reveals an athletic animal capable of traveling great distances in search of acorns. It indicates that it has been raised outdoors, with daily exercise grazing freely in the dehesa. To the touch, our Iberian ham has the consistency of a good curing, and the fat has a soft texture, indicative of a good diet based on acorns.
AROMA AND FLAVOR
Each acorn-fed Iberian ham is a unique combination of salty and sweet, with countless small nuances resulting from fresh pastures and acorns. None of these notes should have excessive weight, they should all be combined in the right measure. The amount of salt used in the curing process should be neither too low nor too high as to mask the taste. The sweet nuances are a consequence of optimal curing. There are no two equal Iberian hams. There are always variations, even in the same vintage and the same appellation of origin. That is why it is so important to choose acorn-fed Iberico hams piece by piece, as we do at Reserva Ibérica.
The aroma of an authentic Iberian ham of excellent quality is almost indescribable. Experienced tasters speak of "flavours" or "flaveurs" to refer to those small nuances of aroma and flavor that give each piece personality. The main one is the finish of roasted nuts that comes from the acorn, the food that gives the Iberian ham its character, its unique flavor in the world. It is possible to find tasting notes of hazelnuts, walnuts, toasted sugar, caramel, holm oak or cork oak wood, aromatic herbs such as thyme, or even citrus fruits in a good acorn-fed Iberico ham. Smell is an essential sense for selecting the best reserve hams, and that of our team of professionals is infallible. As in a dance, the taste buds dance to the rhythm of its nuances, melting into the melody of sublime flavors.
The texture of authentic acorn-fed ham is not that of ordinary ham. A slice of any of our pieces, especially if it comes from the area of the ham with more infiltration, has a smooth, velvety feel and melts slowly in the mouth. pleasure of gods Flavors that immortalize stony sensations in our memory. This special texture of the Iberian ham is due to the monounsaturated fatty acids (good cholesterol) that the pure-bred Iberian pig obtains from the acorn. These healthy lipids are stored in the muscle of the animal thanks to the constant exercise they do in the Dehesa, giving the ham a texture unmatched by other meats.
THE UMAMI ENIGMA
Umami is the fifth dimension of gastronomy. Most cultures detect four tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. The Japanese discovered a fifth and called it umami, which means "tasty" in their language. Umami is that indefinable and almost addictive something that we perceive in Iberian ham, but also in ripe tomatoes, in cured artisan cheeses or in seafood.
Umami is difficult to define, but it is not just a matter of sensitivity or poetry. A secret ingredient: a molecule that is naturally present in some foods. The acorn-fed Iberian ham is one of them. The Japanese call this molecule ajinomoto, "the essence of taste." It contributes to the flavor of food lasting on the palate and also to salivation. For this reason, when faced with a slice of authentic Reserva Ibérica acorn-fed ham, our mouths water.
ART OF LIVING
The fat in Iberian acorn-fed ham is the most heart-healthy of all animal fats. This gastronomic pearl contains more than 55% monounsaturated oleic acid, a concentration similar to that of virgin olive oil. Eating acorn-fed Iberian ham reduces the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL). In addition, it is rich in protein, folic acid and vitamins B1, B6, B12 and E, as well as minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and selenium.
It has antioxidant properties, prevents aging and contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous system. In addition, it does not get fat. 100 grams provide less than 250 calories. Two slices, only 65. Iberico de bellota is the secret jewel of the Mediterranean diet. Or, what is the same, the art of living well, taking care of the body and the spirit.
The soul of Reserva Ibérica is Manuel López, a Barcelonan who grew up among hams and learned, as a child, to detect the best by their touch, shape and smell. With an expert hand, he has cut more than 27,000 pieces. From his parents' stand in the traditional Boquería market, Manuel flew on his own: he trained as an economist, obtained an MBA and held different positions in companies until he decided to return to his roots and found Reserva Ibérica, a true tribute to the art and culture of Ibérico de bellota.
More than a businessman or a taster, Manuel is a ham tuner. It is because of the exquisite sensitivity that allows him to choose the best pieces, but also because of his ability to work with artisan producers until reaching the optimum point of maturation in each piece. The tuner of a musical instrument achieves a brighter sound and a perfect melody. Manuel López, the ham tuner, makes each piece of Iberian a unique and unrepeatable harmony of flavors.