Spain has perfected the art of producing and curing hams for generations and is the world leader in the production of Iberian ham. An Iberian ham to be considered as such must come from pigs with a minimum of 50% Iberian breed and depending on their feed and the purity of the breed is classified as follows according to Spanish legislation:
- Jamón Ibérico de bellota: hams from Iberian pigs reared free-range in the dehesa and fed on acorns during the montanera. Cured for a minimum of 36 months.
- Jamón Ibérico de cebo de campo: hams from Iberian pigs reared free-range in the pasture and fed on cereals.
- Jamón ibérico de cebo de cebo: hams from Iberian pigs reared on a farm and fed on cereals.
When you buy an Iberian ham, look at the colour label that certifies the quality of the Spanish Iberian ham, according to the following categories:
- Black: 100% acorn-fed Iberian ham or "pata negra".
- Red: Ham with at least 50% acorn-fed Iberian breed.
- Green: Ham with at least 50% of the Iberian breed of "cebo de campo".
- White: Ham with at least 50% of Iberian cebo de cebo breed.