... is a pleasure for the senses
The Jamón Ibérico from Monesterio ...
Jamón Ibérico represents the effort of an industrial sector. A sector focused on distinguishing and protecting all the traditional productions linked to the dehesa, which allow, at the same time, a sustainable exploitation of this agroecosystem and the production in an extensive way. On this depends that the prestige of the Ibérico products continues to have a distinguishing quality as compared to pigs raised in an intensive way.
The most important quality features of Jamón Ibérico (including its aspect, texture, smell and flavour) are linked to the compounds directly related to the diet in the dehesa, such as its oleic acid content; or with the extensive farming and also the genetic, such as its intramuscular fat content an the red colour of the lean meat.
Finally, the painstaking care that monesterienses jamoneros teachers dedicated to hams, in the drying sheds and cellars, is the key to the taste ham Monesterio can enjoy its culinary virtues and its beneficial qualities on health.
THE IBERIAN PIG
Among all the animals, wild and domestic, that inhabit the dehesa, the Iberian pig is the king. It is tough, rustic and adapted to the terrain, the weather and the food in the interior Mediterranean areas, especially the dehesa. They are animals with a light body and little need for food, which historically turned it into one of the most apt animals for the hardness of these lands.
They are able to transform grains and spuds into high quality protein more frequently than others.
DEHESA, ACORN AND THE MONTANERA
THE JAMÓN IBÉRICO
A dehesa is the result of the clearing of the original Mediterranean forest, removing the shrubland and eliminating some tree stumps to favour the growth of pastures. This is the ecosystem of biggest extension in the region. It predominates in mountain towns and is hardly seen in the towns on the plains.
In a dehesa forest we find holm oaks and cork oaks above all, as well as a lower stratum of pastures or shrubs. These resources are generally destined towards the raising of the cattle, hunting and exploration of other forest products (firewood, cork, mushrooms, etc.).
Until a few decades ago, in the dehesas people also cultivated the terrain periodically. For this reason, it is usually termed as an agricultural and/or pastoral utilization, given that it was cultivated, cattle was herded and the forest resources were extracted in harmony with the wild flora and fauna.
ACORNS AND THE MONTANERA
The dehesa is made up of a series of trees whose nuts, the acorn, is turned into the most valued food for pigs.
Acorns have a high content in carbohydrates and a low content in protein and they are rich in oleic acid, beneficial for our health.
The montanera is the culminating moment in the cycle of the Iberian pig. It is the moment of ripening of the acorn. It is the time for its harvest and therefore, the time for the fattening of pigs using this nut.
DEHESA, BELLOTA Y LA MONTANERA
THE JAMÓN IBÉRICO
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