Spain is the largest producer of Iberian cured salted meats in the world, since only in our peninsula are Iberian pigs, the animals from which this type of meat comes from.
But, do you want to know what are the different types of Iberian cured meats and their main features? We tell you! At Enrique Tomás we are experts in Iberian products and in our stores, both physical and online, you can find varieties such as Iberian loin, Iberian chorizo or salchichón.
What are cured meats?
Before we go into the types of Spanish Iberian cured meats, let's see what are they and how are they classified. Salted meats are all those meat derivatives prepared from authorized meats, normally minced but not necessarily presented in this way. This meat is usually mixed with pork fat, blood, vegetable products, condiments and spices such as paprika, pepper or garlic, among others. This mixture is placed in different types of sausage casings and undergoes a curing process.
It is necessary to differentiate a “sausage type” rom cured salted meat such as Jamón. The curing process is different for cured meat, which basically involves curing the piece with salt and time, in addition to other factors. In conclusion, Jamón is obviously not a sausage type but a cured meat.
What about Iberian cured meats?
Iberian cured meats are those made with meat from Iberian pigs (Iberian breed), that is, from the Iberian Peninsula. The most traditional are lomo, salchichón and chorizo. For an animal to be considered Iberian, it must have at least 50% Iberian racial purity.
The Iberian cured meats are our specialty at Enrique Tomás, because of their high quality and unequalled flavor. We select the highest quality product from the best places in Spain to offer you an Iberian cured meat superior to the rest of the products on the market.
Classification of cured meats
In general terms, we can find different kinds of cured meats according to the different environmental conditions of maturation to which the product is subjected.
It is also important to take into account the additives and ingredients added to the mixture, since this will also determine the type of maturation and curing of the product. If you would like more information, Enrique Tomás offers you a classification of cured meats in order from the most to the least healthy.
One of the most important differences is whether they are raw or cooked. Raw cured meats include chorizo, salchichón and longaniza. And among the cooked meats we find turkey or boiled cooked ham.
How many types of Iberian cured meats are there?
We are going to focus now only on Iberian cured meats. That is, those that are made directly with pork from the Iberian Peninsula. What makes their meat so special is its juiciness, which they have thanks to the pigs' genetic capacity to infiltrate the fat into the muscle.
Thus, the meat of Iberian pork has no comparison with the white pigs’ and, although the pieces obtained from the latter are just as good, the aromas and nuances are not so appreciated. Therefore, as it is evident, the fame precedes the Iberian chorizo, salchichón, lomo and morcilla ( kind of black pudding) because their flavor is unique. Let's get to know their particularities.
Types of Iberian cured meats Enrique Tomás
There is a great variety of cured meats, but chorizo is undoubtedly one of the stars of our country's gastronomy. It is made from the highest quality lean pork meat and is seasoned with different spices, including paprika, which gives it its characteristic reddish color.
Once ready, it is stuffed and hung and, after the corresponding curing period, the Iberian chorizo is ready. It should be noted that there are many types of Iberian chorizo and all of them are delicious. Choose the one you like best in our online store, in whole piece or sliced format.
If there is one thing you can't miss in a good Iberian cured meats board, it is salchichón. Like chorizo, Iberian salchichón is produced from the lean meat of Iberian pigs and seasoned with different spices, such as pepper. Once it is ready, it is hung and left to follow the curing process in a natural way. Once the Iberian salchichón is ready, it is prepared so that it can be marketed.
There are many kinds of Iberian salchichón, with more intense or milder flavors, but all of them are of unequalled quality.
Iberian lomo is another of the star products of Spanish gastronomy and one of the best ways to enjoy it is raw, just like chorizo or salchichón. It is enough to accompany it with a little bread and oil to enjoy all its flavor.
As its name suggests, it is made from the loin of Iberian pigs, that is to say, from the dorsal upper part of the pig, an area that barely contains any fat. All that is done is to clean the meat, season it with spices and stuff it, which is why it is also known as lomo embuchado (stuffed loin).
Unlike chorizo, salchichón or morcilla (black pudding), the meat is hardly handled to produce the famous Iberian loin (lomo ibérico), which makes it very special.
5 Star Premium Aromatic Lomo -1/4 Piece Enrique Tomás
The main ingredients of Iberian blood sausage are meat and bacon, which are mixed with spices and left to dry for about thirty days.
Unlike the three previous cured meats, which are usually eaten raw, black pudding is usually included in many dishes, such as stews and casseroles, especially during the winter.
In addition to Iberian black pudding, many others, such as bofirra negra, can be found in our country and that similar but not the same.
Therefore, beyond Jamón, there are also other star products of our gastronomy such as the different types of Iberian cured meats, tapas, olive oil, cured cheeses, etc.
A shared lunch or dinner with all these products is a delicious choice, here are some tips to prepare a complete and tasty charcuterie board!