Anatomy of the Jamón
Cured meats are a major part of Spanish culinary culture. The different varieties of cured pork are classified according to a rigorous system that depends on the breed pig, the area where it was raised, and how it was fed.
Jamón Serrano, for instance, is made from a Spanish breed of white pig, similar to those found in the rest of Europe. But Jamón Iberico is produced from the Cerdo Iberia, a pig with a unique genetic constitution, found only in Spain.
Jamón Iberico is further classified according to the proportion of this breed present in the source animal and whether it was grain-fed and/or allowed to roam and eat freely. At the top of the pyramid of Spanish hams is the Jamón Iberico de Bellota, a classification given to meat from animals that are %100 Credo Iberia Negro, free-range, and fed primarily on acorns.