Paleta Bellota - 100% Iberico D.O Huelva
The Paleta is from the front leg of the pig, is smaller in size and the meat often has a very intense flavour. This is our highest quality Paleta Iberico produced using the highest standards of husbandry and matured for a minimum of two and a half years. Produced from 'pata negra' 100% Iberian pigs that spend their lives grazing freely on up to 9 kilos of acorns a day. The meat has an unrivalled rich nutty taste and a depth of flavour produced by the careful maturation process.
Care Instructions: A Paleta Iberico on the bone will last approximately 6-9 months if stored at room temperature in a dry environment. After carving the paleta will last for 8-12 weeks if cared for correctly - we recommend covering the exposed surface of the ham with a section of the removed fat and then covering the whole paleta with a clean, dry cloth (the supplied muslin cover is perfect) which will prevent the ham from drying out.
We recommend using an authentic ham stand and carving knife to get the most from your paleta.
Average size: 4.7 - 5.7 kg
For any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01305 458166.
What to look for when buying an Iberico ham?
We will try to demystify the Iberico ham scene, and explain why you can pay from £35 up to £1000s for an iberico ham.
Iberico hams only come from Spain and are unique in their texture an flavor to anything else you can buy they are not to be confused with Italian Prosciutto or Parma hams.
In Spain over 40 millions hams are produced each year of which a percentage are Iberico hams. These differ from Serrano hams due to the breed of pig they come from. Serrano hams come from the traditional pink pig whereas the Iberico hams come from the iberico breed that can be traced back many tens of thousands of years.
Another key difference apart from the breed is the type of feed that the pigs are raised on. The more expensive types of Iberico spend the final stages of their life roaming free on the dehesa. The dehesa is an almost prairie type landscape that is dotted with encina trees (Holm Oak), the main staple of the iberico pigs diet. The dehesas are today found over on the west of Spain primarily in the provinces of Huelva, Extremadura and Salamanca.
There is a huge amount written about the health benefits of iberico ham. It is rich in oleic acid, rich in vitamin E, and in minerals such as copper, essential for bones and cartilage; calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium.
Pigs that have been left to roam on the dehesa develop better muscle structure with a more even distribution of fat within the muscle tissue and therefore a better flavour than Iberico cebos that have been reared indoors. The fat is important as this has a lot of flavour and also gives the iberico ham that melt in the mouth experience.
As a rule of thumb, the more acorn the darker the meat and the sweeter the flavour.
There are two sizes;
Paletas (forelegs) are smaller than jamones and approx. range from 4.5 to 6.5 kgs. Paletas are sometimes have more fat than jamones and can be more difficult to carve. Good quality paletas are cured for 18 to 24 + months depending on their size. They cost less per kilo that a Jamon.
Jamon can range from approx. 6.5 to 9kgs and come from the rear legs of the iberico pig. They are cured for at least 3 or more depending on their size.
So a good iberico Jamon will be expensive, remember that the whole process from birth to plate takes about 5 years of which 3 years is in the curing.
Iberico Ham Classification
The certification for iberico hams was changed in 2014. It was an attempt to simply the system and makes it easier for the consumer to understand what grade of ham them are buying.
The main point of the system is to let buyers feel secure in the fact that they are guaranteed to be buying a high quality product that has been monitored throughout the whole production process and ensuring that the producers adhere to strict husbandry conditions.
There are 4 different types labels that are attached to the Jamon/Paleta.
BELLOTA 100% IBERICO
These are 100% iberico breed, and have been fed on acorns where they roam free on the Dehesa.
Pigs that are either 75% or 50% iberico (100% sow bred with 50% iberico or Duroc boar), been fed on acorns where they roam free on the Dehesa.
CEBO DE CAMPO IBERICO
Iberico pigs that are free to roam in the countryside but are also fed on cereals.
Iberico pigs that are fed on grain and are reared intensively.
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