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Jamón Ibérico Bellota Premium DOP Los Pedroches 80g
Prince of Hams
This 100% jamón ibérico de bellota from the protected region of Los Pedroches in Andalusia, Spain has beautiful coloration and a well-balanced sweet-salty taste. It has received the “Encina de Oro” Award five times and won the coveted Great Taste Award thrice.
TASTING NOTES FROM THE CURATOR
Across thirty-three towns in the Valley of Los Pedroches, dehesas (pasture grassland with scattered trees) of holm oaks are home to well-fed herds of the large, dark-skinned Iberian pigs. Living freely off the land on a diet of grass and acorns, the locally nicknamed pata negras are valuable all around the world for their hams — jamón ibérico. Los Pedroches is one of only four regions in Spain with protected designation of origin status for this product. Their variant has a slightly paler golden fat cover layer than other protected ibéricos, with bright pink to red-purple meat that has a lightly salted, sweet flavor and a mildly fibrous texture. It is salted and cured for between 30 to 40 months according to the specific techniques that have been used in this region for decades.
The perfect companion to jamón ibérico — if you choose not to savor this ham all on its own — is the raw sheep’s milk cheese called manchego. Served at room temperature, eaten in separate bites, the full range of flavors in this pairing will send you straight to the idyllic Spanish countryside. A bit of olive oil-drizzled toast and sliced tomatoes is all you need to complete your simple but hearty lunch plate. If you don’t feel up to toasted bread, crunchy picos (short Spanish breadsticks) are also classic accompaniments for jamón ibérico. For dessert, small squares of cantaloupe or honeydew melon are all you need. To quench your thirst, your best red wine choices are Tempranillos or Riojas — the younger and earthier, the better. When asked, some Spaniards will recommend a dry sherry wine like a Fino or Manzanilla as well. And should you prefer something bubbly, a dry Cava will pair better than one of its sweeter variants.
A JUSTIFIABLE GOLD STANDARD FOR HAM
Protected, cherished, the jamón ibérico comes in carefully managed shapes and sizes. By the time the ham reaches your table, it has been aged, weighed, and separated into four color grades. The white-labeled jamón ibérico de cebo comes from a farm-raised, grain-fed pig breed that is at least 50% Iberian hog. Green labels go to the jamón ibérico de cebo de campo, from 50% Iberian hogs raised on a pasture and fed a mix of grains and acorns. This change in diet shifts the flavors of the ham. Red-labeled jamón ibérico de bellota come from pasture-raised pigs that are at least 50% black Iberian, and they are only fed acorns and grass from the dehesa. Black-labeled jamón 100% ibérico de bellota only come from pure-bred pata negras gorging on the bounty of the dehesa.
Store in the fridge.