Hams and shoulders under Jabugo (Huelva) Designation of Origin are those who came from pure iberian pigs or authorised crossbreedings in the National Legislation, guaranteeing a 75% of iberian breed.
The Designation of Origin Jabugo (Huelva) certifies both origin and quality of hams and shoulders coming from iberian breed pigs, who have been free-fattened and ranged in pastures and made in natural cellars, placed in Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche.
At the end of the cellar maturation process, pata negra hams and shoulders from D.O. Jabugo (Huelva) have very defined characteristics which distinguish hams and shoulders from this D.O.
- Its external shape is long and stylized in which the length is predominant; its caña (shinbone) is narrow and its hoof is black. Its fat (or adipose tissue) is shiny. In the ham's outer face we can see the characteristic V-cut in the iberian hams, which is crescent-shape in shoulders. Finally, inner side is white or bluish gray due to its mycosis flora, formed during the maturation process.
- The color of the surface cut may vary between pink and deep red, depending on its maturation. The meat's appearence is shiny, with streaks of adipose tissue and infiltrated fat on its muscle mass. This happens because iberian pigs are free-fattened on its final phase.
- Its meat is oily and not very fibrous. Fat infiltrations produce streaks of fat, which makes the meat more tender and succulent.
- Its fat is oily, consistent, shining, of pleasing flavor and its colour varies between white and yellow. Its consistency will vary according to its acorn percentage on its feeding.
- Delicate aroma and flavour, sweet or not too salty. Its oily meat leaves an exquisite palate flavour.
Its average altitude is 572m above sea level and its annual rainfall is 1048 l/m2. Due to its weather conditions, hand-programmed processes are not needed, so maturation and drying conditions are natural and optimum for the pieces.
Among all the towns conforming the Designation of Origin Jabugo-Huelva production area, the most famous is Jabugo. Jabugo is placed in Huelva, at southwestern Spain and in the middle of Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche Nature Park. Thanks to its situation in Spain, there is a microclimate due to its vegetation, environments and features, becoming a key element to elaborate some of the best hams all over.
There are many controls done by the Regulation Council during the production process to guarantee the quality of all the hams and shoulders with D.O. Jabugo (Huelva). Moreover, there are some basic requirements should be accomplished.
1. Pastures should be located inside the production area and conformed with cork, gall oaks, among others. Fattening areas should be conformed with herbaceous, arboreal and bushy vegetal strata, which lets the pig to have a balanced and differentiated diet, so its feeding is a determinant factor to classify hams.
2. Slaughterhouses should be placed in the production area, as well as cellars and drying places.
3. Pigs should be pure iberian breed or iberian breed mixed with Duroc-Jersey pigs, as long as the ham has a minimum 75% of iberian breed.
4. Pigs feeding is a key factor to determine designations of quality for hams and shoulders. Those are these criteria:
- Feeding with acorns and natural pastures. (Bellota 100% Ibérico)
- Feeding with acorns and natural pastures, complemented with authorized feeds. (Cebo de campo)
- Feeding using natural pastures and authorized feeds. (Cebo, excluded from this D.O.)
5. Pigs should be free-ranged during the fattening phase.
6. Pigs should develop its muscles for a better meat quality, so the minimum distance between watering and feeding points should be 100 metres.
7. During the elaboration process, humidity and temperature controls in cellars and drying places should be done using natural atmospheres and temperature controls.
8. Minimum production period should always be respected, as it is link to weight and quality standards. Hams minimum period is 18 months and 12 months for shoulders.
There are three certifications for D.O. Jabugo (Huelva) hams and shoulders, which classified according to different parameters: pig's feeding, percentage of iberian breed and minimum slaughtering age.
Jabugo used to be considered a designation of origin itself. Otherwise, it was actually a given name, synonymous with premium quality.
Jabugo is one of the 31 towns inside the production area of the D.O. Jabugo (Huelva). However, the change of the D.O. has been changed under agreement in 2015. Its name used to be D.O. Huelva, changed to D.O. Jabugo. This request has been approved by the Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) and registered in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
Jabugo ham is the most popular ibérico ham Designation of Origin in Spain and internationally. That’s the reason why some brand become really famous among clients and professionals, by using many advertising.
Some of them are Cinco Jotas, Sánchez Romero Carvajal, 10 Vetas, Juan Pedro Domecq and Maximiliano Jabugo. Some of them are D.O. Jabugo certified, some others are only using "Jabugo ham" due its extended fame.
In Jamonarium we are only selling hams and shoulders of our brand, done by the best producers of each area. We are doing numerous and strict quality controls of our products, in order to guarantee maximum quality. We monitore quality assurance processes until the product is sold, supervising and controlling each detail to offer the real Jamón de Jabugo (Huelva) pata negra.