Terroir and Iberian ham are closely related, as the taste, texture and quality of Iberian ham are influenced by the natural environment in which the Iberian pig is raised and fed. The term ‘terroir’ refers to the unique combination of environmental, geographical and cultural factors that influence food production, and in the case of Iberian ham, this includes the geographical region where the pigs are raised, the type of soil, the climate and the natural resources available.
For example, Iberian pigs reared in the Huelva region of the Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche in Spain are fed on acorns from holm and cork oak trees that grow in the local forests, which gives Huelva Iberian ham its distinctive flavour and soft, buttery texture. Similarly, Iberian pigs reared in other regions may have a different taste and texture due to variations in the local terroir.
In short, terroir is a key factor in the production of high quality Iberian ham and contributes significantly to its unique flavour, texture and aroma.