The Map of Ham in Spain
If we look at the differences between the different types of ham and the areas in Spain where they are produced, we end up with a distribution map that shows the different geographical areas responsible for their production. This is what we will focus on here.
Before getting into the different production areas, first we need to review a few related concepts:
- Denomination of Origin (D.O.): used as a name that identifies a product originating from a specific place, region or, in very few cases, a country, with a specific quality or characteristics that are fundamentally or exclusively the result of a particular geographical environment, along with the natural and human factors inherent to it, and whose production phases take place entirely within the defined geographical areas.
- Protected Geographical Indication (P.G.I): used as a name that identifies a product originating from a particular place, region or country, that possesses a certain quality, reputation or other characteristics that can essentially be attributed to its geographical origin, and for which at least one of its production phases takes place within the defined geographical area.
The main difference between both terms is that in the case of a product covered by a P.G.I., it is not mandatory for all phases to have been carried out within the same geographical area; it only requires at least one. In the case of the D.O., all phases of production must be carried out within the geographical area.
The D.O.'s are used to add value to a product, providing, among other things, transparency as to its origin and production. Thanks to this denomination, it is possible to confirm which land a piece of ham comes from and that it has been produced in a traditional way, thus guaranteeing its quality.
It is important to remember that some pigs are raised and fattened in areas that are covered by a D.O., however they do not belong to it; this does not mean that they are of a lesser quality, but that there is no guarantee as to the controls and protection that the products from the different D.O.'s are subjected to, therefore consumers usually prefer to buy certified products.
Iberian Ham Denominations of Origin (D.O.)There are 4 D.O.'s that protect Iberian ham and that correspond to four regions in which production takes place, they are:
- Jamón de Jabugo, in the province of Huelva.
- Jamón Dehesa de Extremadura, produced in Cáceres and Badajoz.
- Jamón de Guijuelo, produced in the province of Salamanca.
- Jamón de los Pedroches, produced in the province of Córdoba.
D.O. Jamón de Jabugo
This D.O. was formerly known as D.O. Jamón de Huelva. Its hams are some of the most famous due to their high quality, and for many people "Jabugo Ham" is synonymous with "Iberian Ham". These Iberian pigs are bred and fattened in the "dehesas" meadowlands of Huelva, Seville and Cádiz, although some also come from Cáceres, Badajos, Málaga or Córdoba, as long as the ham is prepared in the region of La Cierra de Aracena and the Picos de Arocha, in Huelva.
D.O. Jamón de la Dehesa de Extremadura
The "Dejesa de Extremadura" is the largest land of this type that exists in the world. Because Iberian pigs require at least one hectare or more per animal for proper feeding, this D.O. has the highest production of hams, shoulder hams and other cured meats. These hams are characterised by having a low amount of salt and pink flesh. This D.O. includes 45 municipalities in Cáceres and 40 municipalities in Badajoz.
These Spanish "dehesa" meadowlands give the hams produced in the province of Salamanca different properties as a result of the cold climate. This ham is characterised by its slightly salty flavour, with hints of a characteristic sweetness; the flesh is pink and the fat impresses with its beige/gold colour. This D.O. is applied to those products made from pigs that were raised and fattened in the meadowlands of Salamanca, although the pigs can also come from Toledo, Ávila, Segovia, Zamora, Seville, Huelva, Córdoba, Badajoz or Cáceres, as long as the production is carried out in the municipalities of Guijuelo.
D.O. Los Pedroches
This D.O. is characterised by its climate, located north of the province of Córdoba, grouping together 32 municipalities in the region. These hams are less fibrous than others and have a very juicy flesh with shiny fat. This D.O. applies to Iberian pigs that comply with certain regulations regarding their breed, diet and production process that is carried out in the "dehesa" meadowlands of the Sierra de Los Pedroches.
Denominations of Origin (D.O.) for Serrano ham produced in Spain
D.O. Jamón de Teruel
These products are famous among Serrano hams thanks to their quality, as they are delicate and slightly salty hams, with bright and yellowish/white fat, highly aromatic and with a pleasant flavour. The pigs that are used come from the Duroc breed for the father and the Landrace, Large White or a cross between breeds both for the mother. This D.O. marks its products with a star on the skin and the engraved word "Teruel". Their products usually are of a large size, over 7 kilos, and must be produced in the province of Teruel.P.G.I. Jamón de Trevélez
These products are also known as hams from the Alpujarra Alta, since they are produced in areas of the mountains in the province of Granada, mainly in the municipalities of Trevélez, Capileira, Bérchules, Pórtugos and Busquistar. These hams weigh anywhere between 7 and 9 kilos, their flesh is a deep red colour with white/yellow fat, with a very sweet flavour.
P.G.I. Jamón de Serón
One unique characteristic of these hams is that once the curing process is finished, they are smeared in lard, which differentiates them from hams made in other regions. They are produced in the town of Serón, but the pigs can come from other areas as long as the breeds are Duroc, Landrace, Pietrain, Chato Murciano, Blanco Belga or Large White.
Other hams produced in Spain
Among the other hams with interesting characteristics is the Porco Celta, which is raised in Galicia and fed with chestnuts. Then there are also the hams that come from "capa negra" pigs that are not Iberian. As for the production method, it's worth highlighting the traditional hams from other regions that are covered and cured in paprika.
Now that we've described the different D.O.'s and I.G.P.'s that protect the Iberian and Serrano ham, which are classified based on breed, production area, and characteristics such as the type of feed, rearing and fattening, we can get a better idea of the differences between these types of ham and what they are attributed to.
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