1. Is black hoof the same as Iberico ham?
Iberian pigs are widely known as black hooves. Overseas, black hoof is the most popular term used as the equivalent to an Iberian pig.
2. What’s the difference between Serrano ham and Iberico ham?
Serrano ham is the cured ham of a white pig whereas Iberico ham is the cured ham of an Iberian pig.
3. What are those little white spots you see on ham?
They’re crystals formed mainly by an amino acid known as tyrosine which appears when the proteins are broken down. They’re not at all harmful. On the contrary, they are usually a sign of the ideal curing and ageing.
4. How much bone is there in a ham?
Between 30% (a leg) and 40% (a shoulder) of the weight of a ham is bone. When diced, it’s a wonderful ingredient for broths and stews.
5. How should you store ham at home?
Once carving has begun or just before doing so, the ham should be kept at room temperature in a cool, dry place. The carved area should be covered with the rind and outer fat from the same ham to prevent it from drying out and losing any of its aroma and flavour.
6. The longer a ham’s in the cellar, the better it is?
The ideal cellar time is approximately 24 to 28 months for hams and 18 to 28 months for shoulders. After this time, the ham could get too dry. However, hams weighing 9 or 10 kg with more than 5 years in the cellar have been sampled with an excellent taste.
7. Do all Iberian pigs eat acorns?
No, only a small portion of an Iberian herd is fed exclusively acorns. Most are fed natural feed. Only those intended to be cured as bellota Iberico ham eat only acorns.
8. Is it possible to know whether a ham is bellota just by looking at it?
On the outside, it’s quite difficult to determine whether a pig has been fed only acorns and grass or if its diet has been supplemented with feed. The best thing to do is check the quality certification label.