Types Of Products

Some of the most important and well-known hams are listed in Table 1. Iberian hams are produced in the southwest region of Spain by a long process that usually takes 2-3 years and gives an unique typical flavor. Hams originate from autochthonous heavy pigs, grown in extensive system and fattened with acorns (2). Similarly, Corsican hams take a long time (18 months) to produce in Corsica (France) and are made from autochthonous heavy (around 150 kg live weight) pigs grown in extensive system and fattened with chestnuts, although the output is restricted due to the low number of pigs.

Hams from certain crossbreeds of white pigs constitute the raw material for Spanish Serrano, Italian San Danielle, and French Bayonne dry-cured hams. These pigs are slaughtered at 110 kg live weight whereas those used for Italian Parma hams are heavier (150 kg live weight). Dry-cured hams may receive different labels in the European Union (EU) area, such as Protected Designation of Origin, Protected Geographical Indication, or Traditional Speciality Guaranteed, depending on the specific region and particular regulations

Table 1 Main Characteristics of Dry-Cured Hams Worldwide

Approx. length

Table 1 Main Characteristics of Dry-Cured Hams Worldwide

Approx. length

Dry-cured ham

Country of origin

of process (months)

Smoking

Iberian

Spain

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