We our proud to have the widest selection of jamón in Canada. With so much to choose from, we know it can be a overwhelming and can leave you feeling a bit confused about what to buy. If you are new to Spanish ham or just need some guidance, keep reading! Here are our top picks for the best jamón in each category - Ibérico de Bellota, Ibérico de Cebo and Serrano.
Ibérico de Bellota
First off, the cream of the crop! Ibérico is the breed of pig, and bellota translates to acorns. Essentially this ham is from free-roaming Ibérico pigs that feed exclusively on a diet of acorns, giving it that succulent, nutty flavour. This is the highest qualtiy ham you can get, it's what wagyu is to beef. To serve, keep it simple and serve as a tapa or part of a charcuteria selection. The ham should be the star of the show - bring to room temperature and arrange the slices in a circular fashion on a plate. Perhaps serve with some crunchy breaksticks in the middle of the plate.
Here are our top choices for Ibérico de Bellota:
From one of the most revered ham producers in Spain, this is as good as it gets. This ham is cured for over 36 months and hand carved here in Canada.
Another excellent choice is this option from Cinco Jotas, one of the World's elite ham producers. Cured for over 36 months and also hand carved, it is a very special ham and definintely one that will impress your guests.
Iberico de Cebo
The mid-range option in terms of price and quality. Still from Ibérico pigs or often 50% Ibérico, but fed on a diet of grain and sometimes farm-raised. Cebo translates to grain in English. We really like this ham and it works really well as part of a charcuteria selection alongside other meats and cheeses. Also, a great option for montaditos - little pieces of bread with toppings such as ham, cheese and an olive secured with a toothpick.
Here are our top picks for Iberico de Cebo:
This ham is at an amazing price point. A 50% Ibérico ham from specially selected pigs and with a slow curing process in natural dryers to achieve an unequaled texture, flavour and aroma.
Also excellent value, and again 50% Ibérico ham, this is a delicious choice. Note this ham has longer slices than the previous 3 suggestions, making the presentation a little different. Great to use on montaditos or as an addition to a charcuteria board.
The most affordable option, similar to an Italian pruscuitto. This versatile ham comes from white pigs and is deliciously mild and perfectly salted. Great for recipes or sandwiches.
Here are our top choices for Serrano ham:
Dry-cured for over 16 months and then thinly sliced. This is a delicious serrano ham, tender and with a perfect balance of saltiness. Makes the perfect accompaniment to melon, or great wrapped around asparagus then grilled.
As you can see there are many varieties of ham and brands within each category, all from incredible Spanish producers who take immense pride in their ham. Try for yourself to see which is your favourite!