There are different types of hams worldwide, the main differences are based on food and animal breeding, and the curing time. Notable Italian Parma and San Daniele ham with more moisture than serrano, Germanic smoked Speck, or Bayonne ham.


A first distinction between types of hams is done according to the breed of pig from which they come:


cerdo blancoHam if applicable Iberian pig, animal sharp and narrow snout, short and black hair. High volume of body mass, thin skeleton, hoof black (hence “pata negra”). Raised in freedom in wooded pastures, free movement, and exercise. Healing 8-36 months.

Ham if any white pig, fair skin, brown hoof intensive rearing without exercise and only eat feeds.

The official classification for Iberian hams is according to the pig diet:

Delicious cured Iberian ham: It raised in a feedlot and receives power from feedstuffs (cereals and legumes).

Delicious cured Iberian pasture ham: breeding pasture and receives an herbal food and feed (cereals and pulses).

Premium cured Iberian ham: It pasture breeding, receives an herbal food and feed (cereals and legumes), and the period of eating acorn mast with a supplement feed (cereals and legumes) and grasses.

Iberian Acorn-fed ham: It pasture breeding, receives an herbal food and feed (cereals and legumes), and to fatten up the pigs (montera) feeds on acorns and grasses.


Cured ham in Spain is the hind leg with half hip and half the sacrum, and there are different elaborations and denominations

In the case of the serrano ham must distinguish three grades according to their healing:

Larder ham: From 9-12 months of healing.

Reserve ham: From 12-15 months of healing.

Gran reserve serrano ham: More than 15 months of healing.

Other trade names are “pata negra” (black leg), Jabugo or 5J, but they all respond to reasons of marketing widely used colloquially, but without any content or specific DO or quality.


Mapa DO Jamón España
The designations of origin recognized by the European Union of the Iberian pig are:

DO Jamón de Huelva: Made in the Sierra de Huelva.

DO Pedroches

DO Jamón de Guijuelo: Since the characteristic of the sixteenth century this name pigs are raised in the foothills of the Gredos and Béjar.

DO Dehesa Extremadura: The production area is located in the meadows (dehesa) of cork and encians of Cáceres and Badajoz.

Recognized DO for the serrano ham are Jamón de Teruel and Trevélez.


How do you cut Iberian ham?Cut the ham can be considered an art. If you were to consume several days ham is placed with the hoof down and start cutting by the stifle, or contramaza, to prevent the end of this area from drying out.

The first part of the ham to be peeled consuming. The cut has to be short and thin, with long horizontal line. The meat near the bone should not be cut into slices, but tacos.

Finally, when there is no meat in the main area will be given around the ham to take advantage of whole and cut babilla.


The ham has innumerable health benefits. Has 50% more protein than fresh pork, ham 100g concentrates 33% of the proteins we need for our day.

The Acorn Iberian Ham is also very rich in calcium and phosphorus and also contains vitamins B1, B2 and iron.

Acorn-fed pigs have a higher proportion of unsaturated fats (monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid) that lower cholesterol and counteract the effects of cardiovascular disease, improving the circulatory system.

The cholesterol content is very low (30-40 mg / 100 g), even lower than the rate of lean meats like chicken or turkey.