Myths and Truths, Benefits and Prejudices of Ham

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A lot is said about ham, whether its Iberian ham, Serrano or any other kind. It is one of the main foods in Spain and a true culinary delicacy, however there is a lot of ignorance that currently surrounds this product, even in Spain, which is the epicentre for ham around the world.  
In addition, when talking about ham, there are many questions that may come to mind, including: its nutritional content, if it can actually be harmful to your health, which is the best type to consume, etc. 
How much do we really know about ham? How accurate is our knowledge? Here we will share with you some myths and truths about the star of Spanish cuisine.

Is ham fattening?

Depending on the type, some hams have more or less calories; in 100 grams of ham there are roughly 300 calories. The daily dietary recommendations oscillate between 1,900 and 2,500 calories, depending on your sex and personal goals (to gain or lose weight). Thus, 100 grams of ham would contribute 12-15% of said calories, similar to those contained in any type of meat protein.

Is the raw material the most important?

The raising and fattening of the pig are important. In fact, the classification and price of ham when it is sold on the market depends on the type of breed, how it is raised and fed. Although it is important for the raw material to come from the right place, the manufacturing process is vital for the quality of the final product, along with the salting process, controlling temperature and humidity, and the amount of time spent in the cellars, which are all factors that give the ham its final flavour and special touch. 

Not All Ham is Good Ham 

There are several types of ham, which differ due to the breed of pig, how they are raised, how the ham is produced and the amount of time spent of this production; all of these factors influence the flavour, texture, smell and quality of the ham, along with its price. When we talk about brands and models of cars, most of us understand the different between a luxury car and an economy car, but the same can't be said when it comes to understanding the different types of hams.

Is the fat bad?
Ham contains fat that is made up of cholesterol and triglycerides, which are necessary in our diet (but always in controlled amounts), along with carbohydrates and proteins. Ham (300 calories/100 grams) has more calories than beef (200 calories/100 grams), which is due to the infiltration of fat. Like everything in life: the secret lies in moderation. 

Does the temperature of the ham matter? 

Temperature can significantly alter the ham, where it is whole or sliced. If it is sliced and put in the fridge without being vacuum-packed, the ham dries out and changes its flavour. The ham has to be oily, with a shiny appearance. 

How long after slicing the ham can you wait to eat it? 

Another enemy of ham is oxygen, the less time spent in contact with oxygen, the better its flavour will be. Therefore, the best thing to do is to slice the ham and eat it right then and there.

A Happy Pig, Good Ham 

Iberian pigs are usually raised by workers who genuinely care for them, their freedom and their happiness. The pig needs to be outdoors: go outside, lie down, run around... Different breeding, fattening and production techniques have been used on pigs that have not all been equally effective, which is why some producers prefer to invest in other meats such as chicken and turkey, where, for example, 50% of turkey breast is water. 

What should you serve ham with? 

Among the best things to serve with ham are bread and wine. The bread is usually served in slices and sometimes comes with olive oil on top. Experts in the art of food pairing recommend eating ham with fortified wines such as finos or chamomile. Nowadays, it is also common to see it paired with cava or champagne. Quality reserve wines are also appropriate, just like young wines with little body, or some dry whites. However, the most important thing is that the wine pairing be smooth, so that we can concentrate our senses on fully enjoying the quality of the ham. 


  1. Types of Iberico Ham
  2. How to Consume Iberico Ham
  3. How to Cut Iberico Ham | Carve Iberico Ham
  4. How to Preserve and Store Iberico Ham
  5. Pairing of Iberico Ham
  6. Quality Laws for Iberico Ham | The New Law 2014
  7. The Dehesa | The Meadow
  8. DOP Protected Source of Origin of Iberico Ham
  9. Nutritional Properties of Acorn-fed Iberico Ham
  10. Recipes with Spanish Ham
  11. Differences Between Iberico Ham and Serrano Ham
  12. Differences Between Shoulder and Iberico ham
  13. Differences Between Iberico Ham and Iberico Shoulder
  14. Iberico Ham and its Competitors Around the World
  15. Nutritional Properties of Iberico Ham
  16. Protected Denominations of Origin of Iberico Ham
  17. Production Areas of Spanish Ham and Iberico Ham
  18. Spanish Ham – Machine cut or Hand cut
  19. Museums of Iberico Ham Worldwide
  20. Inside Secrets of Iberico Ham Tasting
  21. Tourist Trails for Iberico Ham Aficionados
  22. Acorn-fed Iberico ham and the ideal pairing
  23. The Production Process of Iberico Sausages
  24. History of Iberico Sausages
  25. VAT and Spanish Ham: Frequently Asked Questions
  26. Spanish Ham in Great Spanish Literature
  27. Curiosities of Iberico ham
  28. How to Store Your Serrano Ham
  29. Regulations and the Quality of Serrano Ham
  30. Preparation of Serrano Ham
  31. Denomination of Origin of Serrano Ham
  32. Nutritional Properties of Serrano Ham
  33. Recipes With Serrano Ham
  34. Types of Serrano Ham
  35. Pairing of Serrano Ham
  36. How to Consume Serrano Ham
  37. How to Cut Serrano Ham | Carve Serrano Ham
  38. All the Secrets of Pata Negra Ham Tasting
  39. Choosing a Good Ham Holder
  40. Pata Negra Ham and Pasture
  41. The secrets of pairing pata negra ham
  42. What is the best para negra ham?
  43. Is the term pata negra correct?
  44. How can you know which ham to buy?
  45. Why is good ham so expensive?
  46. How to buy ham from online stores
  47. Myths and Truths, Benefits and Prejudices of Ham
  48. Is Iberian ham fattening?
  49. What to do with the ham bone?
  50. Why do we usually hang ham?
  51. Ham and Pregnancy: Can Iberian ham be included in pregnant women’s diets?
  52. The Role of Ham in a Child’s Growth and Develeopment
  53. Tips for Preserving Ham
  54. What is ham shaping and why is it done?
  55. New Technologies and Ham – MRI in Ham Tasting – Spectral Images
  56. The Iberian Pig Begins to Migrate
  57. Cured Sausages: Origin, Composition and Classification
  58. Production of Hams and Pork Shoulder Hams
  59. Iberian Ham Tasting Guide
  60. Quality: Differential Elements Between Ham and Iberico Cured Meats

Ham carving manual

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