Fotocredit: Agacuj

Spanish ham, which one do you choose?

Hammen met een witte laag…

Ik ontvang vaak vragen over de verschillende soorten Spaanse ham. Veel consumenten en professionals in Nederland en andere landen raken vaak in de war door de verscheidenheid aan Spaanse hamsoorten en de verschillende benamingen.

Spanje produceert een breed scala aan hammen, van de beroemde Iberische hammen tot serranohammen, maar er zijn er veel meer…  Ik zal beginnen met een zeer eenvoudige verduidelijking.

In Spanje zijn er twee grote groepen hammen:

* Iberian hams (Jamones Ibéricos)

* White or white layered hams (jamones Blanca o de capa blanca)

Today I want to talk about the second group: witte hammen of hammen met een witte laag.

Deze hammen komen meestal van witte varkens, van rassen zoals Landrace, Duroc, Large White of Pietrain, allemaal allochtoon (niet-Spaans, afkomstig uit andere landen ter wereld). Deze dieren worden meestal intensief gefokt op boerderijen en worden gevoed met hoogwaardige voeders en granen.

Within the extended family of white hams, there are different types, qualities and options that can sometimes confuse consumers.

* Jamon serrano ETG: Serrano ham is a Spanish food with a TSG listing. There are a wide variety of qualities of serrano ham. The term “Serrano” is reserved for those hams that meet the specific requirements of the Especialidad Tradicional Garantizada, ETG (in Dutch it is called “Guaranteed Traditional Specialty” or GTS)

Traditionally, the ham curing process was carried out in mountainous areas of Spain. This association with the mountains (“sierra”) has led many people to call all white hams “serrano”. But that's not entirely correct! Did you know that the term "serrano" is protected by a European quality standard?

I would like to emphasize that an Especialidad Tradicional Garantizada (ETG) does not define the place of production of the product, but it does protect the traditional composition or production method. The minimum ripening time for Serrano ham will never be less than 7 months.

Logo ETG serrano

In the year 2000, more than 100 companies in Spain created the “Fundación del Jamón Serrano”. Many production companies have now joined the foundation. This foundation acts as the “representative body” of the Serrano Ham ETG and works to protect, improve and promote high-quality Serrano Ham, distinguishing it from other hams that are not produced according to the requirements of the ETG regulations and that do not guarantee the minimum quality required to meet this standard.
These companies are the only ones allowed to use the name “jamon serrano” on their labels, always accompanied by the yellow and blue European ETG seal.

fundacion-jamon-serrano

What do these ham companies have to do to sell hams under the name Serrano ham? 

Ten eerste moeten zijn geaccrediteerd door de nationale accreditatie-instantie in Spanje en ze moeten voldoen aan de specificaties van de GTS Serranoham, (krachtens Verordening (EG) 2082/82en goedgekeurd bij Verordening (EG) 2419/99).

Within the categories of serrano ham we find:

• Bodega or Cava: with a minimum maturation of 9 months.

• Reserva or Añejo: with a minimum maturation of 12 months.

• Gran Reserva: with a minimum maturation of 15 months.

* Jamon Consorcio Serrano: The Spanish Serrano Ham Consortium, founded in 1990, represents the Spanish producers of Serrano Ham who are committed to preserving the tradition in its production. With their quality seal they guarantee the authenticity and quality of 100% Spanish Serrano Ham. Each piece has an average maturation of 12 months and is thoroughly controlled throughout the production process. The selection of the ham is done carefully, piece by piece.

Each piece therefore bears the European ETG seal of Serrano, as well as the distinctive and quality seal of the Serrano Consortium.

Logo ETG serrano         Consorcio jamon serrano logo

* Jamon de Teruel DOP: Teruel DOP-hammen en schouders worden geproduceerd in de provincie Teruel, in de autonome regio Aragón, onder de Europese kwaliteitszegel DOP en onder toezicht van de Regulerende Raad Denominación de Origen Protegida Jamón y paleta de Teruel. Ze worden verkregen uit potten van varkens die zijn grootgebracht in het afgebakende gebied, met kruisingen tussen de moederlijnen Landrace, Large White of hun kruisingen, en de vaderlijnen Landrace of Duroc. Het productieproces duurt minimaal 60 weken en vindt plaats in de provincie Teruel, met een rijping op een hoogte van minimaal 800 meter boven zeeniveau.

Teruel DOP - ham and shoulder, must meet the following requirements:

Naast het commerciële merkzegel moet het hele stuk rond de hoef voorzien zijn van een genummerd label (vitola) en een zegel met het logo van de CRDO Jamón y Paleta de Teruel. Op dit onvervalsbare label is de traceerbaarheid van elke ham gecodeerd.

jamon dop teuel logo      jamon teruel dop vitola

NB! a DOP Teruel ham always retains the hoof, but if a ham does not meet the required quality parameters in a certain part of the process, the hoof is cut off.

In addition, all hams that meet Council standards are marked one by one with the 8-pointed star and the word Teruel engraved on the skin of each of them.

jamon teruel dop estrella

Onlangs is het toegevoegd aan de label van de Jamón de Teruel als de ham meer dan 22 maanden oud is en 9 kilo weegt, of meer dan 18 maanden oud is en 8 kilo weegt op het moment van kwalificatie. Het is mogelijk dat je nog hammen kunt vinden met de traditionele labels die minimaal 14 maanden rijping en 7 kilo gewicht garanderen.

Boneless or sliced hams must have a numbered spine label with the CRDO logo.

Jamón de Trevélez IGP : These hams are produced under the protection of the PGI or Protected Geographical Indication, this quality seal is given by the geographical environment in which the ham is produced, which gives the ham its own and distinctive characteristics. Trevélez is located at an altitude of 1,476 meters, at the foot of the Mulhacén. This BGA includes several municipalities in the region that are located at a minimum altitude of 1,200 meters. These municipalities are: Trevélez, Bérchules, Busquistar, Pórtugos, La Tahá, Bubión, Juviles and Capileira, all in the province of Granada.

igp trevelez logo

Alle geschikt bevonden hammen worden gemerkt met een alfanumerieke inscriptie en deze identificatie wordt geregistreerd door de Consejo Regulador ( Regulerende Raad)

Each ham found to be suitable is also identified with a guarantee seal, which can be blue, red or black, and which is checked by the Consejo Regulador.

The final qualification of the hams is carried out after a final check and verification, during which the control technicians check that each ham meets all the established requirements, and each piece must be accompanied by the alphanumeric identification and the color seal.

This unique seal, together with the alphanumeric identification, provides proof of the authenticity of the product. The final label of the protected product must include the PGI logo and at least 50 % of the label, together with the registered trademark and the logo of the certification company, Fundación Qualytech Alimentación.

The PGI sets a minimum ripening period for each category.

Category 1 Blue seal: Minimum maturation period of 14 months.

jamon igp Trevelez azul

Category 2 red seal: Minimum maturation period of 17 months.

Jamon igp-trevelez-rojo

Category 3 black seal: minimum maturation period of 20 months.

Jamon igp trevelez negro

* Jamon de Serón IGP: The PGI “Serón Ham” is a geographically protected product. with a minimum maturation of 12 months and from white pig breed.

The PGI “Jamón de Serón” refers to cured hams produced exclusively in the municipality of Serón, province of Almería, through a process that includes a period of drying and natural maturation lasting at least 12 months. Seron ham is red in color and shiny when cut, with a slightly sweet, slightly salty taste and an aroma that can vary from medium to intense.

IGP jamon de seron logo

* Jamon curado: Hammen met deze benaming hebben een rijping van minder dan 7 maanden en hebben geen aanduiding van kwaliteit of ETG

Jamon curado

NB!! All Spanish hams are called “curados” (cured hams), they are so called because each piece of ham must undergo a brine process after salting to obtain a suitable piece for consumption with a specific aroma and taste.

En om ons niet in verwarring te brengen, als er bij aankoop het woord “Jamon curado” op het etiket of de verpakking staat, zou dat overeenkomen met hammen van mindere kwaliteit en zonder kwaliteitszegel.

I hope this post has provided some clarity on the types of white hams and that you have an easier time choosing one.

 

 

Source list:

Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación

CRDOP Jamón de Teruel, Consorcio del Jamón Serrano

Jamon Lovers https://www.jamonlovers.es/

Jamón de Trevélez IGP https://www.jamondetrevelez.es/secaderos/