Spain Faces Shortage Of Jamon Iberico As China Gets A Taste For Super-Premium Ham
by Laura Brehaut, National Post
Posted: 2017-12-05 17:41:20 EST

Made from Iberian blackfoot pigs, jamón ibérico (Iberian ham) is among the most highly sought-after hams in the world. It’s a much-loved product in its native Spain and a traditional Christmas treat. Just in time for the holidays, however, increased demand from China is putting a strain on producers, the Guardian reports.

The priciest variety – jamón ibérico de bellota – comes from pigs (Iberian blackfoot pigs or 50 per cent crossbreads) that eat exclusively fallen acorns in the final several months of their lives. The acorns impart a unique nutty taste and the meat’s extraordinary depth of flavour adds to its appeal.

Jamón ibérico de bellota takes longer to produce than other varieties of Iberian ham: it’s aged for a minimum of three years; and requires specialized oak-covered pastures, called dehesa. And it’s also this super-premium variety that’s in highest demand in China.

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