Types of Iberico Ham

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Since the recently approved law on quality of Iberico ham in Spain, there are various categories of quality for the different types of Iberico ham. These measures have been taken by the government seeking to combat misleading and thus strengthen the production of quality Iberico hams.

The introduction of tracking should allow consumers to indentify at all times the origin of the product, as well as the type of nutrition the pig received and the percentage of Iberico purity.

Types of iberico ham according to purity.

In fact, this classification is based primarily on two factors: the genetic characteristics of the pig and the type of nutrition received during the fattening period. In regards to the genetics of the pig, producers are to specify the percentage of Iberico genetic, which can be no less than 50% of Iberico race and 50% white duroc.

A 100% Iberico ham pata negra (black footed) is a safe bet due to the animals' predisposition to accumulate infiltrated fat. There is also a category of Iberico ham from a pig with a 75% Iberico breed. In all cases, the law indicates that all breeding should be performed with females of 100% Iberico breed and males of 100% Duroc.

In regards to the nutrition the pig received, it is considered that acorn-fed pigs yield higher quality Iberico hams, because it comes from a pig that has been fattened exclusively in a green pastured regimen.

These pigs feed on acorns, roots, pasture and other resources present in the Dehesa. There are two other categories for Iberico ham: Ham of cebo de campo, which refers to the animal fattened with a combination of outdoor pasture and grain feed in a farm. Iberico ham de cebo, refers to pigs fattened exclusively on grains.

The consumer can identify the different types of Iberico ham through a system of labels. Each color indicates a degree of quality: the white and green labels are for Iberico ham de cebo and for Iberico ham de cebo de campo. While the red and black labels are for the Iberico ham de bellota and bellota (acorn) ham 100% Iberico.

These rules also apply to shoulder cuts extracted from the front legs of the pig. These cuts are also identified with color labels corresponding to the type of nutrition the pig received. These labels also indicate the degree of Iberico purity of the pig.
Colored labels for Iberico ham's different degrees of quality.

Without doubt, the new classification of quality for the different types of Iberico ham, slows down the emergence of misleading advertising and it is aimed at protecting those manufacturers that strictly follow the guidelines outlined in regards to the genetic selection of the pigs and the type of feeding received.

This measure should increase the quality and prestige of Iberico hams, as well as strengthening its presence, both in Spain and at the international level, in the gourmet food sector.


  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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