Rich in both scrumptious fat and sweetness, bacon from Iberian Black Pigs (patas negras) is the quintessence of refined indulgence. Though so elegant that traditional presentations may seem unworthy, our recommendation is to simply serve this selection however you most earnestly enjoy bacon, and prepare for that format to be elevated beyond recognition. But do keep in mind that because of its wildly plump fat, only gentle warming is needed to cook these slices to perfection - too much heat will over-render the fat and spoil the splendor.
Ibérico pigs have been an integral aspect of the Spanish culinary tradition for centuries. Predisposed to exceptional fat development throughout their muscular structure, these hogs are amenable to long, slow curing that promotes unparalleled complexity and sweetness. For those that earn the distinguished status of Ibérico de Bellota Jamón, their golden years (specifically what's called the Montanera period - the fall and winter before they'll be slaughtered) will be lived out as luxuriously as imaginable, freely roaming among centuries-old pastures dotted with oak trees. This environment is called the Dehesa, and at the time of year when it belongs to the pigs, it will be covered with acorns - bellotas - for the pigs to feast upon. And as much as we love what becomes Ibérico de Bellota Jamón, the pigs seem to love these acorns.
During their few-month foray among the oak trees, pigs will double their weight on a diet consisting of these acorns and other naturally occurring grasses and herbs. Not only does this promote a rich nuttiness and crispness to the meat, it also ensures a significant concentration of unsaturated fatty acids, the epitome of good fat. Regardless of which cut is selected or which aspect of its tradition is focused upon, Ibérico de Bellota Jamón is absolutely one of a kind, and truly an honor to share.