16 September 2008
Types of Spanish Ham
There are two types of Spanish ham - Serrano Ham (Jamon Serrano) and Iberico Ham (Jamon Iberico). The latter is sometimes known as "pata negra", not a recognised but still a very common term, literally meaning "black foot" which refers to the hogs used to produce the Iberian ham.
To discover more about each type of ham follow the links below..
No tapas selection or spread of embutidos would be complete without at least one variety of Spanish ham. Both are unique in their own way but there are significant differences in flavour, texture aroma and colouration.
The photograph below shows each ham sliced side by side, the darker Iberico ham is on the left - a true masterpiece in the ham world boasting nutty tones, sensational aroma and a texture unlike any other ham in the world, an artisan ham with real depth.
That said, Spain's other envied creation - the Serrano Ham is a real gourmet choice in every sense of the word. Reservas, Grand Reservas, Anejo's etc make the Serrano ham choice a real delight for the connoisseur.
So.. are either of these hams the "perfect" Spanish tapa? Well, possibly - depends on your taste buds, there is no doubt that Iberico ham is the finest gourmet ham in the world. Serrano ham is a good all rounder, rarely disappoints and serves well with a multitude of complimentary tapas and ingredients when cooking.
However, it would be unwise to compare the two types directly in more comprehensive description. The Iberian ham is a very different ham to the Serrano ham, both have superb qualities but come from different stables altogether, think of an Aston Martin and a BMW - both infinitely driveable, different price tags, different engineering but a very happy purchase nonetheless...
Spanish ham in America