Since the change in the Iberian Regulation in 2014, we have noticed that many doubts have arisen regarding the section on field-grazed ham, in particular.
Below, we will try to explain exactly what it is so that you don't hesitate to acquire something due to lack of information. So, if you're unsure about buying Iberian field-grazed ham, we recommend you keep reading.
It would be a shame to miss out on such a gastronomic delight!
What does the field-grazed regulation say?
If we go to the official source, since 2014, the regulation states: "animals that, although they have been able to take advantage of resources from the pasture or the field, have been fed with feed consisting mainly of cereals and legumes, and their management is carried out in extensive or intensive outdoor farms, with the possibility of having part of the surface covered."
To better understand what field-grazed ham is, we first need to know how the growth of an Iberian pig occurs. So, let's clarify that!
Stages of fattening an Iberian pig
Whether it's acorn-fed, grain-fed, or field-grazed ham, it comes from an Iberian pig that has followed a similar feeding plan, at least until it reaches a weight of 100 kg. Some people think that acorn-fed ham comes from pigs that have only eaten acorns. Nothing could be further from the truth! Let's be sensible.
No one would think of giving a newborn baby a peach (not even mashed), or a young child a plate of stew. Everything has its time according to growth. Similarly, with Iberian pigs, they follow a dietary plan as they grow. First, it's mother's milk, after weaning, they will receive feed and legumes, then vitamin-enriched feed to help their bones grow, and finally, if they have been selected for Montanera, which is the last breeding phase in the pasture.
This phase runs from October to February and coincides directly with the ripening season of acorns. However, in the wild, they will not only eat acorns but also herbs and other wild fruits, and, above all, they will exercise a lot, which will be vital for facilitating the infiltration of fat into the muscle and strengthening it. Those that complete the Montanera and reach a minimum of 150 kg. will be ready to provide the delicious acorn-fed hams. If we understand this, we will better comprehend what field-grazing entails.
What is Iberian field-grazed ham?
This ham also comes from an Iberian pig that has been raised in the freedom of the field (hence its name) or in the pasture but outside the months of Montanera. They have been fed with feed and cereals, but also with the herbs and wild fruits they have found in nature.
As for acorns, they may have occasionally eaten some, although they are not part of their usual diet. The farmer decides on their diet based on the resources available. The important thing to note is that they have been raised totally or partially in the wild.
How to distinguish it in the storeIt is distinguished by its specific seal and label for Iberian field-grazed ham. To identify each Iberian ham, you have to pay attention to both the seal and the label. Here we will show you what the seals and labels look like for each type of field-grazed ham.
The seal is green.
The color associated with this ham is green, according to the Iberian regulation (RD-2014), but only the seals must have this color. No color is specified for the label, so it will depend on the manufacturer's will whether they make it simpler for the consumer or not. At Enrique Tomás, our label is also green to facilitate identification. Due to its quality, it is a 4-star premium product.
Iberian Field-Grazed Ham Label 4 Stars Premium Enrique Tomás
Iberian Field-Grazed Shoulder Label Enrique Tomás
Enrique Tomas' Stars
The stars are an identifying symbol of our brand and logo. Therefore, based on the product's quality, we have categorized our ham pieces with 3, 4, or 5 stars. In the case of Iberian field-grazed ham, we have given it 4 premium stars. Its quality-price ratio is very good.
Buy Cebo de Campo Ham - 80 gr
Now you know that field-grazed ham is an extraordinarily high-quality Iberian ham or shoulder. If you feel like trying it before buying a whole piece, you will also find our pre-sliced formats in envelopes or packs for tasting or gifting.
It will not disappoint you in any case!