The marbled fat in Iberian ham is a unique characteristic of the Iberian pig, highly valued by enthusiasts of this product. It is distributed throughout the ham, infiltrating the animal's muscle tissue during its fattening.
This fat is considered healthy due to its oleic acid content, a type of monounsaturated fatty acid that helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition to the health benefits, the fat provides a distinctive texture and flavor to the ham, making it a highly prized product.
The amount of marbled fat in Iberian ham depends on factors such as the pig's breed, its diet, and its level of exercise during its lifetime. Iberian pigs that are fed acorns, for example, typically have a greater amount of marbled fat in their meat compared to those fed with feed.
In summary, the marbled fat in Iberian ham is a highly appreciated characteristic by consumers, as it imparts a unique flavor and texture to the product, and it also contains oleic acid, a type of health-beneficial fat.