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Jamón ibérico

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Jamón ibérico, Iberian ham, also called pata negra, is a type of cured ham produced mostly in Spain, but also in some Portuguese regions where it is called presunto ibérico. It is at least 75% black Iberian pig, also called pata negra (literally, black leg).

The hams are labeled according to the pigs' diet:

-The finest jamón ibérico is called jamón ibérico de bellota (acorn). This ham is from free-range pigs that roam oak forests (called la dehesa) along the border between Spain and Portugal, and eat only acorns during this last period. It is also known as Jamón Iberico de Montanera. The exercise and the diet has a significant impact on the flavor of the meat; the ham is cured for 36 months.

-The next grade of jamón ibérico is called jamón ibérico de recebo. This ham is from pigs that are pastured and fed a combination of acorns and grain.

-The third type of jamón ibérico is called jamón ibérico de cebo, or simply, jamón ibérico. This ham is from pigs that are fed only grain. The ham is cured for 24 months.

Jamón ibérico, which only accounts for about 8% of Spain's cured-ham production, is very expensive and not widely available abroad.


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References

Jamón ibérico, en.wikipedia.org

About Jamón Ibérico, www.jamon.com

Jamon Iberico: 5 Things You Didn't Know, www.askmen.com