Differences between Iberian ham and Serrano ham

The Ham It has become an essential food product within the so-called Mediterranean diet, and an authentic sign of identity of our country, which has a very great tradition in its production.

Although it is possible to enjoy it throughout the year (and eat it, for example, in tapas with olives or in sandwiches with olive oil and tomato), the truth is that it is during Christmas when its consumption increases considerably.

At the moment you go to the delicatessen or the supermarket and you think about buying a good leg of ham you must have a clear what are the differences between Serrano ham and Iberian ham, given that depending on the breed of the animal and its diet, we can find different types or varieties of ham.

The Iberian ham

It is the ham that comes from the Iberian pig (variety that tend to have the color black, hence the name "Pata negra", with little fur and long snout), a Mediterranean species specially selected to make the most of the different qualities and characteristics of the cork oaks and holm oaks, where traditionally and usually graze this variety of pigs.

They have the ability to accumulate fat under the skin and infiltrate it under the muscles, a capacity that gives that characteristic white vein, typical of this type of hams.

We can find different varieties of Iberian ham, which differ from the food consumed by the animal (given that, depending on the breed, all these varieties come from the Iberian pig):

  • Acorn-fed Iberian ham: comes from Iberian pigs fed on acorns and natural pastures.
  • Iberico ham of recebo: comes from Iberian pig fed with acorns, pastures and feed.
  • Iberian bait Ham: comes from Iberian pig fed on natural pastures and feed.
  • Iberian ham of field bait: comes from Iberian pig fed on natural pastures and feed on outdoor land.

The white ham

It is one of the most commonly consumed varieties, especially for its cheaper price. Basically they consist of all those hams that do not come from the Iberian pig, so their organoleptic qualities are somewhat different - and smaller - than the Iberian ham gives us in its different varieties.

They come from breeds of white pigs such as Pietrain, Duroc, Landrace and Large White.

Within the white ham itself we can distinguish:

  • Serrano ham: comes from white coat pigs, raised intensively and fed with feed, and a minimum healing time of 7 months, in cold and dry climate of the sierra.
  • Cured ham: comes from white coat pigs, raised in intensive regime, fed with feed.

How to differentiate them?

When you go to buy an Iberian ham or a Serrano ham you must take into account the following tips to easily differentiate them:

  • Label: it indicates the category of the product (name of the product, breed of the animal and feed) and the guarantee of quality (if this product is certified, and by which control body has been certified).
  • Quality certificates: although this information is found on the label, certain Iberian hams can count on other quality certificates depending on the protected appellations of origin of Iberian ham in our country.

Image | goodiesfirst This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.

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