So crisp, nutty, lively, and sweet that it is challenging to stretch beyond a single, splendid sitting - this sliced Ibérico de Bellota Jamón is both a privilege and a treat. Made from heritage breed Ibérico Pigs with lusciously complex and marbled fat, the distinction of "de bellota" signifies that the hogs fed on nothing but acorns and wild herbs for their final few months before slaughter. During this period, they double their weight, loading up on unsaturated fatty acids and ensuring dense, clean, exquisite flavor that will amplify once cured.
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.