Iberian Ham, 4 Regions to enjoy it!

Iberian Cured Ham Routes_iTravy

The Iberian Cured Ham is one of the best around and the world and the crown of the Spanish gastronomy. Is like the Spanish seal to the world in hams. Get to know why this Iberian Cured Ham is an explosion to your paladar.

When you visit Spain there is no doubt that you have to try Paella, a good wine, a visit to 100 Montaditos but especially you have to try a good plateful Iberian Ham. At any time of the day, you can enjoy this delicious delicatessen. Maybe before lunch as a famous Tapa, as a first curse, or an appetizer before dinner. 

You can try it anywhere in Spain but the best places to try it are in the Triana market in Seville, or one of the wine and Iberian ham tours organized in Madrid. But if you would like to experience all the process of the Iberian Ham since the workshop the best to do is to try the curing process in one of the 4 culinary tours of the regions of the Ham Routes. 

A paradise for the taste - 4 regions of the Ham Route

Iberian Cured Hams Regions in Spain - itravy

The previous map shows all the regions in Spain that have Designation of Origin, from Salamanca to Andalucia, places full of a tasty variety of Iberian Cured Ham, the same designation but unique in the way of preparation.

While enjoying a tasteful plate of Iberian Ham you can explore the great landscapes and see the process of making the ham.

The four routes depend on the Designation of Origin showed in the previous map: Guijuelo, Dehesa de Extremadura, Huelva, and Los Predoches.


Guijuelo Ham

One of the most famous designations of origin, perhaps it was the 1st to be created. Produced in several municipalities in south-east Salamanca province, especially in the town of Guijuelo. 

The climate of Sierra de Béjar is the clue to the success of the hams in this region since is the northernmost region our the four, that provides that softer, fattier, and sweetness to the paladar. 

30 kilometers away in the direction to Cáceres, a must town you have to visit which is Candelario. It has the Casa Chacinera Museum which shows the basic lifestyle of the town at the end of the XIX Century and beginning of the XX Century.

Dehesa de Extremadura 

This region will only accept pigs raised in this region, and production centers on the dehesas of holm oaks and cork in Cáceres and Badajoz.

The Iberian Cured Ham has been part of this Spanish autonomous region. The region is considered one of the best-preserved ecosystems in Europe due to the millions of acres that extend all along of the Spanish geography. 

To be more specific, Zafra in Badajoz, is one of the cradles of Iberian Ham, and there are various events throughout the year to enjoy this delicacy.  

Monesterio also in Badajoz celebrates Ham Day, consider an important tourism festivity in the area, and has also the Cerdo Ibeérico Museum, which is a perfect place to know more about the pigs from which the Iberian Ham is processed.

Jabugo Ham 

Popular known as the "Huelva Ham", is made in the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park, as well as several villages in Huelva province such as Cumbres Mayores, Cortegana, Encinasola, and Jubago, the last one is one of the most famous hams producing towns in Spain, and the designation of origin is named for it.

Los Pedroches Ham Routes iTravy

Los Pedroches 

Córdoba is one of the youngest denominations of origin (approved in 2006), but this does not forget the centuries of experience and its ideal climate that places this region on the map of hams in Spain. 

It's easy to recognize the ham of this region since the hams are longer and more slender than in the other regions since the pigs must be raised, and the ham has to be cured, only in the Valley of Los Pedroches.

The Valley of Los Pedroches was named by the Arabs Fhas al-Ballut, the valley of the acorns.

How to spot a good quality Ham

The main factor in the history of this food is the Iberico breed of pigs. This is a native breed which over the years has developed the characteristics which make it so unique. The pigs are raised on the dehesas, where they graze and move freely, which also affects the end product, unlike pigs raised in conventional farming.
There are different categories of Iberian ham, depending on the pig’s place of origin and diet, which are marked by a color code:

The white label 

Indicates that the pig breed is Iberico, but it has been raised in conventional farming and fed commercial feed. 

Iberian Cured Ham Cut_ Itravy

The green label 

Means that the pig breed is Iberico and it has grazed freely on the dehesa, and it has been fed additional natural fodder. 

The red label 

Identifies ham from mixed-breed pigs that have been raised on acorns. 

The black label 

Is reserved for the highest quality products, the so-called “jamones pata negra”, from pure Iberico breed, acorn-fed pigs.

Source: Spain info and Cerdoh
Images by Pixabay

4 Routes of Iberian Cured Ham iTravy

Iberian Ham Routes in Spain iTravy


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