Riverhorse Provisions - Iberico Puro de Bellota
Iberico Puro de Bellota is the finest ham in the world, originating from free-range pigs that roam the oak forests along the border between Spain and Portugal, and eat only acorns during their last life period.
Acorn-fed jamon Iberico is intensely sweet, with floral hints, earthy memories, and nutty undertones. The fat content allows the jamon to quite literally melt right in your mouth. The breed, exercise, diet, and human-labor involved have a significant impact on the flavor of the meat. For many ham lovers, this is the end of the road.
Immediately after weaning, the piglets are fattened on barley and maize for several weeks. The young pigs are then allowed to roam in pasture and oak groves to feed naturally on grass, herbs, acorns, and roots.
Upon their last moments before the slaughter, the diet may be strictly limited to acorns for the best quality jamón ibérico. The acorns (bellota) fall from oak and cork trees from early October to early March on the farms where the pigs are raised. They are high in fat, a large percentage of which is unsaturated oleic fatty acid, and eating them is what makes the ham so soft and creamy, on the verge of melting at room temperature. Acorns also contribute to the ham's nutty flavor and aroma, and are as essential to the product as the meat itself.
The ham is then cured for up to 36 months and must pass a multi-stage sniff test (a trained nose can purportedly detect 100 aromas from a premium ham) before leaving to market.