Iberian Ham and Serrano Ham

serrano schinken jamon serrano jamon iberico

Serrano Ham vs Iberian Ham

These two foods, which have a similar name, hardly look alike.

When we speak of Serrano ham we refer to a ham cured in a cold and dry mountain climate, from a white pig that does not have to be Iberian.

On the other hand, when naming the Iberian ham, we refer to a unique heritage of our country, Spain.

Food differences between Serrano Ham and Iberian Ham

Serrano ham is fed on feed in a stable and in some cases, pigs have the option of grazing in the fields.

The Iberian ham feeds on feed rich in oleic acids, cereals, acorns, herbs and varieties found in the countryside during the montanera season, as the pastureland is the habitat of this variety.

Preparation process of Serrano Ham vs Iberian Ham

The production of Serrano Ham consists of three stages: salting, drying and ripening.

In the preparation of Iberian Ham we find stages: profiling, salting, washing and settling, drying and maturing.

It is during the maturing period that we will find one of the greatest differences between the qualities of these products.

Serrano ham and Iberian ham are classified into the following categories:

Serrano ham:

  • Ham from the cellar: 9 – 12 months of curing
  • Reserve ham: 12 – 15 months curing time
  • Gran Reserva ham: cured for more than 15 months

Iberian Ham:

  • Black label: 100% Iberian breed with acorn feed
  • Red label: 75% or 50% Iberian breed with acorn feed
  • Green label: Iberian hams fed in the field on feed.
  • White label: Iberian hams fed in a feed-based barn.

Within the Iberian ham we find denominaciones de origen: D.O. Extremadura; D.O. Huelva; D.O. de Los Pedroches and D.O. Guijuelo. While in the Serrano ham have 2: Jamón de Teruel in the province of Teruel (Aragon) and Jamón de Trevélez in the province of Granada (Andalusia).

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