Iberico / Serrano Ham
What is the difference between Iberico ham and Serrano ham?
Both Iberico ham and Serrano ham are types of Spanish ham, so what’s the difference? Well, there are a lot of differences as it turns out. First is the breed of pig. Iberico ham is made only from Iberian pigs, while Serrano ham can be made from several breeds of white pig. The second difference is the diet. Iberian pigs are free range, wandering the Spanish countryside in search of acorns and cereals. The other type of Spanish ham comes from pigs that are almost exclusively cereal-fed. Iberico is also aged for a longer period of time.
Where do these hams come from?
Serrano ham is also known as mountain ham, since it is the mountain air and climate that affect the taste. Because Iberian pigs are free range, they go wherever they can find a nice supply of acorns. Today, many production facilities have surfaced that recreate the mountain air and climate during the curing process, instead of leaving them out to dry in the air.
What do they taste like?
Predictably, Iberico ham has a sweet, nutty taste to it. Serrano kind of looks like prosciutto, as it is usually thinly sliced, but has less fat, which people say gives it a more flavorful taste.