Knowing the origin and quality of an Iberian ham is easier than ever thanks to mandatory labeling and an app available on Android and iOS.
Ham is, surely, the most traditional sausage in Spain, and it can be integrated into the diet in many ways. However, not all ham is the same, since there are a series of differences between acorn-fed and serrano ham, which are based on breeding and feeding.
The first is somewhat more expensive than the second, although it depends on the percentage of Iberian it has. However, there are times when, when buying a whole piece of ham or upon receiving it as a giftanyone can have a hard time, and it is not a particularly small expense.
However, it is possible to know if a ham is Iberian only by looking at its label and using your mobile phone, since the quality standard for Iberian ham requires that all pieces with this designation, whether hams or shoulders, have at least one of the four labels that identify it.
Different types of Iberian
Although you can find, according to the OCU, a very good cut Iberian ham in some supermarkets, it is also true that many people prefer to buy the whole leg and cut it at home, and in those cases, the best, if you don’t want to risk , is to look at the label it has.
First of all, it is important to keep in mind that There are different kinds of ham. Depending on the breed, it can be 100% Iberian, or have a percentage of Iberian, which implies that one of the parents of the pig is Iberian and the other is not – or at least not 100% -, and this difference can be key in the flavor.
Depending on its diet, it may be acorn-fed if it has reached this weight by consuming fruits, grass and acorns; field bait if it has been fed with natural feed in the open field, or bait if it has been fed with natural feed, but intensively on a farm. Within Iberian hams, there are four different labels, each one with a color, which helps differentiate them and also ensures that it is an Iberian product, although the percentage they have is another story. These are the types there are:
Each leg of Iberian ham, by law, must be individually identified by one of these seals, which also cannot be removed before selling it, so it is the best guarantee to know that it is a product with this designation. It must be taken into account that, if it is serrano ham, and not Iberian ham, it does not have to carry this label.
There is another method to originate an Iberian ham, and that is to use an app called Ibéricos. This has been created by the Interprofessional Association of the Iberian Pig (ASICI) and is available for both Android and iOS and is capable of scanning the product label. Iberian to check the traceability of the piece. The application is extremely simple to use, which only has one mission and does not have advertising or in-app purchases. When you open it, the only thing you will find is a direct access to the ham identifier and a link to the association’s website.
To identify the piece, all you have to do is use the camera to capture the barcode or write it by hand. It must be taken into account that It will only work with Iberian hams that have one of the labels mentioned above, since, according to their website, in the Designations of Origin, the traceability and identification of the pieces is managed by the regulatory councils of each of them.
Once the code is identified, the application breaks down the information obtained from it thanks to its database. First of all, the type of piece it is appears, since it can be ham or Iberian shoulder. Afterwards, information appears on both their diet and their breed, showing whether it is acorn-fed or cebo ham, as well as its percentage of Iberian ham.
After this, the date of the start of production appears, followed by the place of origin of the first consignee of the piece, that is, of the first industry that received it, so this section does not have to be taken into account if you are looking for know the origin of the pig.