Not All Jamónes are Created Equal

The Spanish word for ham may be jamón but in our foodie circle, it has become an adjective that denotes a superior type of ham and describes the delicacies of Jamón Ibérico. Even among the ranks of Jamón Ibérico a hierarchy exists. Jamón Ibérico de Bellota, which comes from acorn-fed iberian pigs ranks at the top of the ham echelon.

Jamón Ibérico
Jamón Ibérico de Bellota

Not all pigs are created equal. Iberian pigs, also known as pata negra have black hooves. Their genetic make up gives them the ability to store more fat allowing the ham to be cured for much longer than usual. These pigs live free range and feed on pastures dotted with oak trees. During a period called the montanera, they are further fattened with a diet of acorns.

Cinco Jotas Jamón Ibérico de Bellota is cured for over two years allowing the complex flavours to develop. It is hand sliced and the vacuum sealed pack comes in slices of 10. The meat is dark red and beautifully marbled with veins of fat.

To enjoy it at its optimum, take it out of the refrigerator for at least twenty minutes before serving. Once at ambient temperature, the meat softens, the streaks of fat shine releasing intense flavours.

On first taste, the palate is assailed with the sweet and nutty flavour of the marbled meat. The fat almost dissolves on contact with a lingering flavour and no oily aftertaste. On second taste, you’d agree that not all jamón is created equal.

Cinco Jotas Jamón

Mesón Cinco Jotas


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.

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