From Guijuelo and acorn-fed, of course
“Serrano” and Iberian ham are not the same thing
Although we can find excellent Iberian hams and shoulders in different parts of Extremadura and Andalusia, Guijuelo acorn-fed ham is the only one which has achieved the category of “the best ham in the world”.
Being able to distinguish it is fundamental if we are to enjoy an incomparable gourmet article. These are its identifying features:
- Slender form, with a narrow shank and black hoof. Bear in mind that the pure-bred Iberian pig has more slender legs.
- Between 7 and 9 kg is the weight of a good Iberian ham. This size ensures that the salting and curing of the ham will be perfect and uniform.
- The skin is distinguished by a white, bluish or greyish-green colouring caused by the fungal flora, or lightly covered in oil for better conservation. To the touch, the skin must give way slightly when pressed with the fingers; this tenderness is evidence of the high levels of oleic acid in acorn-fed pigs.
- When cut, numerous veins of fat marbling can be seen between the reddish meat. It has some white spots (tyrosine crystals), which are a product of its slow curing. This particular feature gives it slight crunchy contrasts. Its low salt level gives it a deliciously smooth taste.
- Its fat is shiny and golden. This reveals the low melting point of the fat in the acorns.
- An embracing flavour, full of nuances. A very lightly salted flavour, which may even have a slightly sweet touch. At Guijuelo we are wont to say that our ham is the only one you can eat without bread, thanks to its low salt content.
- Delicate and enticing aroma.