Bellota Ham

Gourmet Spanish Cured Pork

The History of Spanish Bellota Ham

Spanish ham has always played an important role throughout the history of Iberia. Ham has its roots in ancient times (most probably in the Roman era) when citizens of the Iberian Peninsula cured pork with salt to preserve it, and enjoyed ham daily as part of their diet. Eating pork was prohibited by the Moors who conquered the Peninsula because it was considered a sin in their religion. Consequently pork and ham became an important way for the Christians to display their culture.

Spaniards consume one Spanish ham per person per year, cementing their place as the world's most fanatic ham connoisseurs. Different types of cured hams have different price ranges starting from very cheap to very expensive. There is an ancient tradition of curing meats and fish with salt in Spain, and this method was the origin of using salt to preserve pork for storage. This simple way of curing pork has evolved over the centuries into an art, where salt, time and cool mountain air transform simple pork into one of the world's great hams. Thus Spain has become the number one producer and curer of ham in the world.

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