Acorn-fed Iberico ham and the ideal pairing
Iberico ham is a gourmet product, so it makes sense to enjoy it with foods and drinks that complement its flavor. Many experts recommend paring certain types of foods or drinks with Iberico ham to achieve the best match.
In Spanish, this is a traditional skill known as "maridaje," or "marriage" - though we'll be referring to it as "pairing." So what are the ideal pairings for Iberico ham? Read on and find out!
Iberico ham and wine pairings
According to the definition offered by the RAE, the word "maridaje" means "marriage," but it also means "unity" or "things the bind or correspond with each other."
Many experts now prefer the term "harmony," though "maridaje" has tradition behind it. In the case of acorn-fed Iberico ham, a wine tradition rooted in Spanish culture becomes the ideal accompaniment to Spain's signature ham dish, and in restaurants it is therefore important to pay attention to the sommelier, who will be very happy to recommend the best wines to accompany each course.
Acorn-fed Iberico ham with wine
The sommelier belongs to a profession that requires mastery of a little art and a little science to produce a craft, allowing him to find the best combinations for each dish. His advice will take into account the organoleptic properties of the foods, such as taste, aroma and texture, in addition to its properties when mixed with different beverages.
The specialist knows what these properties are and selects the best option for a perfect dining experience, bringing as intense and innovative a combination of flavors to the diner as possible. Iberico ham, with its high gastronomic value, is no exception. Here are some general rules to follow to find the perfect pairing:
Rules of pairing
The art of pairing is part of a long tradition in Spain, in which Iberico ham and red wine have gone hand in hand for generations. New scientific knowledge allows us to go beyond tradition and address the reasons why this or that pairing works so well.
According to the most widely accepted classification of the culinary scene there are nine types of wine with well-defined characteristics: sweet, Reserve red wines, Grand Reserve red wines, old red wines, young red wines, pink or rosé wines, dry woody wines, natural dry wines, sparkling wines and fortified wines.
A range of red wines
After many years of testing food parings and combinations, the world at large has reached several conclusions.
Amongst these is the assertion that acorn-fed Iberico ham combines excellently with several different types of wines, giving always different but always interesting results.
As a general rule it is accepted that salty foods go well with fresh-flavored alcoholic beverages such as white wines and beers, but Iberico ham goes well with other, bolder drinks like full-bodied reds too.
Ideal companions for acorn-fed Iberico ham
Many years ago it was widely believed that drinking sweet wines with Iberico ham was healthy. Therefore this was accepted as the ideal combination, almost on faith.
We now know that there are no particular health benefits attached to this combination and in fact it isn't very good from a taste perspective, because the sweetness of the wine tends to drown out the subtler flavors of the Spanish ham. In fact, this is one of the worst possible pairings!
There are two possibilities with young wines. On the one hand, young wines with body are often a poor choice because they mask the flavor of the Iberico ham, making them a less-than-ideal pairing.
However, lighter young wines are a great choice, because they complement the freshness and nuance of the flavor of the Iberico ham perfectly.
On the flip-side, young white wines are often overwhelmed by the Iberico ham, meaning they're not an ideal pairing either. Reserve red wines often have great personality, but despite this can be a great pairing with Iberico ham, because the two flavors reinforce each other.
The two biggest flavors in Spanish cuisine, oddly enough, sit side by side just perfectly!
A glass of Cava
When we speak of sparkling wines, we have to differentiate between sweet, unstable and sugary wines which are a very poor choice with Iberico ham, and those which are drier, like Champany or Cava.
These latter wines enhance the flavor of Spanish ham, reinforcing its subtlety. Fortified wines, on the other hand, despite their strength and powerful flavor, are also a perfect pairing with Iberico ham because their penetrating character enhances the flavor of the ham and its durability on the palate.
Finally, many would argue that beers are a perfect accompaniment to Iberico ham because their bitterness combines perfectly with the intensity of the flavor of the ham. Beer, Cava, young wines, light whites and fortified wines are therefore the ideal pairings for Iberico ham.
All about ham
- 1 Types of Iberico Ham
- 2 How to Consume Iberico Ham
- 3 How to Cut Iberico Ham | Carve Iberico Ham
- 4 How to Preserve and Store Iberico Ham
- 5 Pairing of Iberico Ham
- 6 Quality Laws for Iberico Ham | The New Law 2014
- 7 The Dehesa | The Meadow
- 8 DOP Protected Source of Origin of Iberico Ham
- 9 Nutritional Properties of Acorn-fed Iberico Ham
- 10 Recipes with Spanish Ham
- 11 Differences Between Iberico Ham and Serrano Ham
- 12 Differences Between Shoulder and Iberico ham
- 13 Differences Between Iberico Ham and Iberico Shoulder
- 14 Iberico Ham and its Competitors Around the World
- 15 Nutritional Properties of Iberico Ham
- 16 Protected Denominations of Origin of Iberico Ham
- 17 Production Areas of Spanish Ham and Iberico Ham
- 18 Spanish Ham - Machine cut or Hand cut
- 19 Museums of Iberico Ham Worldwide
- 20 Inside Secrets of Iberico Ham Tasting
- 21 Tourist Trails for Iberico Ham Aficionados
- 22 Acorn-fed Iberico ham and the ideal pairing
- 23 The Production Process of Iberico Sausages
- 24 History of Iberico Sausages
- 25 VAT and Spanish Ham: Frequently Asked Questions
- 26 Spanish Ham in Great Spanish Literature
- 27 Curiosities of Iberico ham
- 28 How to Store Your Serrano Ham
- 29 Regulations and the Quality of Serrano Ham
- 30 Preparation of Serrano Ham
- 31 Denomination of Origin of Serrano Ham
- 32 Nutritional Properties of Serrano Ham
- 33 Recipes With Serrano Ham
- 34 Types of Serrano Ham
- 35 Pairing of Serrano Ham
- 36 How to Consume Serrano Ham
- 37 How to Cut Serrano Ham | Carve Serrano Ham
- 38 All the Secrets of Pata Negra Ham Tasting
- 39 Choosing a Good Ham Holder
- 40 What is the best para negra ham?
- 41 Is the term pata negra correct?
- 42 Pata Negra Ham and Pasture
- 43 The secrets of pairing pata negra ham
- 44 How can you know which ham to buy?
- 45 Why is good ham so expensive?
- 46 How to buy ham from online stores
- 47 Myths and Truths, Benefits and Prejudices of Ham
- 48 Is Iberian ham fattening?
- 49 What to do with the ham bone?
- 50 Why do we usually hang ham?
- 51 Ham and Pregnancy: Can Iberian ham be included in pregnant women's diets?
- 52 The Role of Ham in a Child's Growth and Develeopment
- 53 Tips for Preserving Ham
- 54 What is ham shaping and why is it done?
- 55 New Technologies and Ham - MRI in Ham Tasting - Spectral Images
- 56 The Iberian Pig Begins to Migrate
- 57 Cured Sausages: Origin, Composition and Classification
- 58 Production of Hams and Pork Shoulder Hams
- 59 Iberian Ham Tasting Guide
- 60 Quality: Differential Elements Between Ham and Iberico Cured Meats
- 61 The Map of Ham in Spain
- 62 Properties of the Fat in Iberian Ham
- 63 How to Transport Iberian Ham and Other Foods on International Flights
- 64 Prevalence of Pathogens and Benefits of Organic Acids in Pig Production