What is Jamón Ibérico?

What is Jamón Ibérico?

by Guillermo Pabon Garcia on May 11, 2024

Jamón Ibérico is a type of cured ham originating from Spain and highly valued for its flavor, texture, and quality. It is made from the meat of Iberian pigs, a native breed to the Iberian Peninsula. These pigs are known for their ability to accumulate intramuscular fat, giving the ham its characteristic marbling and rich, savory flavor.

Production process

The production of Jamón Ibérico involves a traditional curing process that can take from one to several years. After the pigs are slaughtered, the hams undergo a salting process and are then hung to dry in a controlled environment. During this curing period, the hams develop complex flavors and aromas, while the fat slowly melts into the muscle fibers, resulting in a tender texture that melts in the mouth.

To be considered Ibérico, at least one of the two parents must be of Iberian breed. Depending on the purity grade of the parent and whether one or both parents are Iberian, the purity grade of Iberian breed of the pig will be determined.

Jamón Ibérico de Bellota vs Jamón Ibérico de Cebo

There are different varieties of Jamón Ibérico, categorized based on the diet and lifestyle of the pigs:

Jamon Iberico de Bellota (Acorn-fed)

The highest quality ham, also known as Pata Negra. Made from pigs that have been raised freely in the dehesa and mainly fed on acorns during the montanera, the last fattening stage before slaughter. This variety is characterized by its intense flavor, smooth texture, and unique nutty undertones.

Jamón Ibérico de Cebo (Grain-fed)

Other categories include Jamon Iberico de Cebo de Campo, made from pigs raised in open fields and fed a combination of cereals and natural forage, and Jamon Iberico de Cebo, made from pigs fed a commercial feed diet in confinement.


How to eat Jamón Ibérico?

Overall, Jamón Ibérico is considered a delicacy and is often enjoyed sliced thinly as a tapa or appetizer, accompanied by a glass of red wine or served alongside traditional Spanish cheeses. If you're wondering how to serve Jamón Ibérico, here are some useful tips:


Jamón Ibérico is best enjoyed at room temperature. This allows the flavors to fully develop and the fat to be at its optimal point. If you've purchased pre-sliced ham, you should take it out of the refrigerator 2 hours before consuming.


The slices can be served on a large plate or cutting board, arranged so they are easily accessible for your guests.


Jamón Ibérico is delicious on its own, but it can also be enjoyed with accompaniments such as crispy bread, olives, Spanish crackers, extra virgin olive oil, fresh tomatoes, Manchego cheese, or even fruits like figs or peaches.


Jamón Ibérico pairs well with smooth red wines or even beer. It can also be an excellent choice to accompany a variety of cheese boards.

Culinary uses of Jamón Ibérico

Jamón Ibérico is also used in a multitude of Spanish recipes, adding a delicious and sophisticated touch to dishes. It pairs especially well with vegetables, making an excellent addition to Gazpacho (see recipe), Salmorejo, and other grilled vegetables such as artichokes (see recipe).

Where to buy Jamón Ibérico

In the United States, it's not easy to find physical stores that sell Jamón Ibérico. This is because, despite being a delicious and healthy product, its consumption is still not very widespread among Americans.
There are numerous online stores where it can be purchased, however, you will only find the best selection of ham at Ibérico Taste Store.

Ibérico Taste: your Spanish products store in the USA

Don't know where to buy Jamón Ibérico? At Iberico Taste, we have the largest and best variety of Spanish products at the best price, shipping all over the USA. Our store stands out for offering the best Iberico ham in the entire USA, both already sliced and whole legs with bone or boneless. We have the best brands, such as Fermin, Cinco Jotas, Covap, Montaraz, or Beher, which are the most reputable in Spain and guarantee quality.
In addition to Jamón Ibérico, we offer the best selection of Spanish cured meats, such as Chorizo sausage, Salchichón, or Lomo Ibérico, Spanish cheeses such as Manchego or Idiazábal, olive oil, and Spanish pantry products.
Our warehouse is located in Doral (FL), so if you are in the Miami area, you can choose to have your order delivered to your home or pick it up for free.

Now that you know where to buy Spanish products in the USA, what are you waiting for to delight yourself with the authentic flavors of Spanish cuisine?

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