Why is iberian ham only produced in the iberian peninsula?
You may have wondered why Iberian ham is only produced in our country, although it is enjoyed all over the world. This is due to the special characteristics that surround this product, which make it necessary to have very specific circumstances in order to produce this gastronomic jewel: the best ham in the world.
What factors have to be taken into account?
Raw material: to create such an exceptional product, we need a unique raw material. Iberian pigs (originally from the Iberian Peninsula) have exceptional characteristics in terms of infiltration of fat in the muscle tissue, as well as a meat that is not very fibrous and that presents an exceptional juiciness.
Handicraft tradition: as it happens with many other foods, this product arised from the need of previous generations to extend the edible period of some products through conservation techniques. This has generated a know-how that has been transferred from generation to generation, improving the process.
Autochthonous experts: the transmission of information from generation to generation has generated a series of experts in the matter with a very wide knowledge in the breeding, elaboration and manipulation of these products. Today, Spain has the largest number and best valued experts in the art of producing ham.
Geographical location: the Iberian Peninsula is located in an exceptional place for the breeding and production of pigs. Its moderate climate, its rugged geography and its type of vegetation and fauna, allow the animal to develop in a perfect ecosystem. Its geographical location, close to a great variety of countries, and the fact that it is part of a state that offers health guarantees, makes its trading optimal, enabling its production and helping to improve it progressively.
“Dehesas”: This is one of the keys that allows us to have the best ham in the world in an exclusive way. This ecosystem is semi-natural, since human interaction has been needed for thousands of years, making it unique and practically impossible to reproduce anywhere else. In these pastures, 4 of the most important acorn trees grow, a fundamental element in the last phase of the animal’s diet, which gives it such a characteristic flavour.
Weather: It is a basic and irreplicable factor in other places. Our climate is perfect for the proper development of the ecosystem of the “dehesas”, but it is also a very determining factor during the drying process of the ham. In the mountains of the south west of the peninsula, there are great humidity conditions and exceptional temperatures for the ham. Its distinct seasons and sudden changes in temperature without reaching extreme conditions allow the product to achieve a cure that accentuates all its organoleptic attributes.
Technological developments: the continuous investment in the sector and the access to technology by our industry in Spain, mean that what used to be a handmade process, has been professionalized. This leads to higher quality products that are, furthermore, subject to a greater sanitary control. All this has allowed a synergy between the know-how of many generations and technological innovations, achieving a product that is close to perfection.
We are lucky to have access to such a unique product. That is why we have to enjoy a product considered a delicacy all over the world. Remember that we will be delighted to offer you this product and many others on our website https://www.moniberic.com/es/ .
If you want to know more about ham, do not forget that we have many other posts available on our blog!