According to the diet that is offered to the pig, we can differentiate between Iberian Cebo, Iberian Cebo Field or Iberian Acorn. The Iberians of Cebo are named that way because they are fattened with feed in the farms, hence their name «Cebo».
We have already explained that there are three types of Iberian hams according to their diet but, unlike those of Ibérico de Cebo or Ibérico de Campo, the production of Iberico de Bellota is limited. In Spain, around 1,4 millions of Iberico Bellota hams are produced and it is impossible to produce more. Why? Very simple, because the activity of the pastures and their number of trees are controlled so that they can not feed more than 700,000 Iberian pigs.
The pigs destined to produce Iberian de Bellota NOT only eat acorns. As we have already mentioned, these pigs feed on the pastures when they make the Montanera season and, in addition to the acorns, eat all kinds of natural products and herbs.
The Iberian pigs are all those that have, at least, a father of this species that is usually the mother. The white pig breed that crosses with the Iberian pigs is the Duroc, because its genetic allows to preserve the characteristics of the pigs of our peninsula.
If we combine the diet based on the acorn and the 100% of the purity of the Iberian breed, we obtain as a result Iberian hams of acorn 100%, also called Pata Negra hams.
But why are they called Pata Negra?
Because the hooves of Iberian pigs and their legs can be black, but this does not necessarily have to be so. It can happen that an Iberian pig does not have a black helmet and that, on the contrary, a white pig has. So, if you are going to be guided by the color to know if you are buying a real product, let us tell you one thing: it is a mistake. The best thing you can do is look at the composition of the ham legs, not its tone. If they are long and stylized, you are in front of an authentic Iberian ham.
In contrast to what is believed, the fact that the Iberian ham has white spots does not mean that it is in poor condition, If not the opposite! These white marks in the ham are tyrosine crystals and reveal that the curing process of the Iberian ham has been carried out correctly.
Finally, a curiosity related to ham food pairing: it does NOT always have to be accompanied by red wine; In fact, white wine is better! White wine has a sweeter flavor than red, so instead of masking the flavor of the ham, it will enhance its nuances. In SolRic We recommend drinking it with wines such as chamomile or cava and, if you combine this with bread sticks, you will always clean your palate and you will be able to enjoy all the shades of Iberian ham in every bite!
Did you know these curiosities about Iberian ham? Well, now, yes. As the saying goes, you will not go to bed, without knowing one more thing!
You can come and try the Iberian ham cut by hand at SolRic in Tarragona, Via Augusta, 157.