Apart from many interesting remnants of ancient cultures and magnificent nature, Andalucía has some fabulous culinary treasures as well. Andalucía is home to the prized Iberian black pig (‘pata negra’).
The Jamon Iberico, the cured ham from these black pigs, is world famous.
In spring these pigs eat fresh grass, in summer they get barley and wheat. Finally in autumn the ham acquires it’s delicious characteristical taste, when the acorns fall from the holm oaks. During autumn the black pigs range free in the forests, where they feast on acorns under the holm oaks. The pigs eat up to 10 kg of acorn per day and add in weight up to a kilo per day.
The hams are salted and left to cure in dark caverns for a year and a half to over two years, to become the delicious Jamon Iberico.
The other famous Spanish Ham, Serrano, is from a different type of pig, the “cerdo blanco” (white pig).
The best quality Jamon Iberico is the Jamón Ibérico de Bellota Reserva. Only the hams of pigs that have been feasting exclusively on acorns (bellotas) and on grasses in undisturbed nature (dehesa) during the last months of their lives, can be named Jamón Ibérico de Bellota.
One of the most famous areas for Jamon Iberico is the magnificent Sierra de Aracena.
The Jamon Iberico is a true gourmet delicacy.