Thursday, 26 January 2012

Health Benefits of Spanish Ham, Jamón de Teruel P.D.O

The brand “Jamón deTeruel P.D.O” is a synonym for quality, differentiated thanks to the work of its Regulatory Committee. This body also publicises and promotes the virtues of the product, some of which are well known, and others which may surprise you. For example, did you know that eating Jamón de Teruel P.D.O ham can help mental ability, especially in children, thanks to its high zinc content? (2.3 mg. per 100 grams).
Also, Jamón de Teruel P.D.O ham provides exceptional nutritional value, being rich in proteins, B-group vitamins and minerals such as zinc and iron. The zinc content helps mental abilities, as shown by a study in the University of Southern California, and supported by the US Agricultural Research Service.
According to this report, consuming 20 milligrams of zinc five days a week for three months gave teenagers better memory control, enabling them to answer questions faster and more correctly, and an improved attention span, understanding and retention.
It also shows that teens with poorer mineral levels display 41% more violent behaviour than the others. This is why nutrition experts stress the importance of a zinc-rich diet for this age group, with a daily recommended consumption of 20 mg for adults, and 10 mg for children.
Ham in general and Teruel ham in particular, is highly nutritious, but there are a number of misconceptions about it, such as a high fat content. Teruel ham is low in saturated fats (33%, with 63% unsaturated fats) and a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleic (50.76%), which has a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels.
This type of fat leads to an increase in “good cholesterol” (HDL-c) which protects health, and transports “bad cholesterol” (LDL- c) – deposited in the arteries – to the liver for elimination, reducing the risk of arterial thrombosis and heart attack.
Tasty Salad
Another misconception is that cured ham is high in salt. The human body needs 4g of salt a day, the equivalent of 1.6g of sodium. The WHO recommends that adults should not exceed 6g of salt per day, or 2.4g of sodium. Taking into account that the average consumption of cured ham in Spain is about 80 g/person/week, the weekly salt supplied by Jamón de Teruel is 1.51 g, equivalent to 3.84 g of table salt (NaCl).
Given the lipid profile of Jamón de Teruel ham, its cardiovascular benefits, nutrient density and mineral and vitamin levels, it should be considered a complete, well-balanced food, heart-healthy, and suitable for inclusion in the nutritional guidelines of the Mediterranean Diet.

Friday, 20 January 2012


Check to see if the hoof is on the ham, the skin has the 8-point star and the word TERUEL heat-branded onto it, and that the band round the hoof has the registry number and stamp of the Regulatory Committee of JAMÓN DE TERUEL.
Don’t buy a pig in a poke! To identify a Jamón de Teruel  P.D.O  ham, check the three signs of its identity:
1. The rind or skin of the ham must bear the 8-point star and the word TERUEL burned into it.
2. A whole ham must always have its hoof. The Regulatory Committee cuts the hoof off all the rejected hams which do not meet the required standards: weight, marbling, months of curing, etc.

3. The hoof must have the band with the registry number and stamp of the Regulatory Committee of the Designation of Origin. This is the product’s ID card, which lets us identify the pig it came from, the farm it was raised on, the abattoir where it was slaughtered, the drying shed where the ham was cured, andother information.
If you buy the ham sliced rather than whole, check that the tray is labelled with the Jamón de Teruel logo.
We need to know how to distinguish a “Jamón de Teruel  P.D.O” from any cured ham from the province of Teruel. Don’t be fooled. Unlike other hams, “Jamón de Teruel P.D.O.” has gone through the strict quality checks established by the Regulatory Committee.
There are many differences between them. First, the whole process of a “Jamón de Teruel  P.D.O” has taken place in the province of Teruel. The pig was born, raised and slaughtered in Teruel, and of course, the ham was cured in one of the province’s 53 drying houses registered with the Regulatory Committee.  In this way the Regulatory committee is able to monitor every aspect of the product and provide complete traceability. None of this information is available for a ham which does not have the Denomination of Origin. Only 1 in 8 hams cured in the province of Teruel is “Jamón de Teruel P.D.O”.
The type of pigs used for Denomination of Origin “Jamón de Teruel  P.D.O ” hams are always from crosses between the breeds Landrace (standard type) and Large White, on the maternal line, and Duroc for the paternal line. This cross produces an exquisite ham, low in salt, high in proteins and low in cholesterol.
Another requirement of the Regulatory Committee is that the drying houses in the province of Teruel must be at least 800 metres above sea level. Teruel hams must be cured for at least fourteen months, although most industrial producers bring hams to the market after a longer curing time, to give the product more flavour and aroma.
After production, the inspectors of the Regulatory Committee of Denomination of Origin check each ham and certify them as suitable for the Designation of Origin with a numbered band and an eight-point star heat-branded onto the skin, with the word Teruel to signify its quality.
Take all these recommendations into account when buying a “Jamón de Teruel P.D.O” ham, and if you want a top quality product, be sure to insist on “Jamón de Teruel P.D.O”, or in other words, ham with a Protected Designation of Origin.

Sunday, 15 January 2012


One of the most typical foods from Spain is our "embutido", mainly the "chorizo", "lomo" and "salchichón". Did you ever tasted them?...If you like cured ham you will enjoy its "charcuterie"!.

The term charcuterie here refers to the sausage-like products in which different mixtures of minced meat, usually pork, are encased in a cylindrical skin, then cured or cooked so, that they can be kept for a long time. Geography, history and tradition combine in Spain to produce an extensive catalogue of these delicacies which, alongside Teruel and Iberico porks, are some of the most characteristic foods in the Spanish larder.

Charcuterie is generally made from pork from the Duroc, Landrace and Large White pig breeds.

The paradigm of the former is "chorizo", which is matured not only by time and air but also by the salt and spices that are added to the pork, especially pimentón (a Spanish type of paprika), the main distinguishing ingredient.


If you want to know more about the enormous variety of Spanish sausage products, you might have a look at the magazine "Foods from Spain", where you will find further details about the families and how they are made.

There is not a single region or district in Spain without its own, ancestral recipes and sausage-making traditions. Most of the products retain their local name and some have become known far from their place of origin, such as Teruel

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


The characteristics of the Ibérico pig, with its long legs and strong, are the result of its perfect integration into its environment. The pigs are fed with grass and stubble to wild legumes but, above all, with acorns, which are the high-fat fruits of the holm and cork oaks. 

This natural food from the "Dehesa" is the mean reason for the excellent organoleptic qualities of the pork. These animals are able to store fatty deposits infiltrated into their muscles, making the meat especially moist and tender.

Jamón Ibérico de Bellota (ham) is low in calories and provides many vitamins: B1, B6, B12 and folic acid. It is also rich in vitamin E, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and finally, selenium, which has been attributed with antiaging properties. Ibérico bellota ham can be included in low calorie diets.

Iberico ham has a considerable amount of fat with a high composition of oleic acid, typical of olive oil. This makes your body produce more good HDL, at the same time reducing the amount of bad LDL; reducing the risk of illnesses of this type.

(Author: Foods from Spain)

Enjoy Iberico Bellota ham, is delicious and healthy!!

The world of cured hams from Spain is fascinating!, do not hesitate to contact us for any information you might require at We are specialized in Spanish hams: Jamón de Teruel, jamón ibérico, jamón serrano, etc. and we will be delighted to solve all of your doubts. Be welcome at any time!