The Spanish ham: we explain what are the differences between Serrano Iberico, bellota, etc.

Both hams are top quality Spanish products. The differences are substantially different in the mode of processing and origin of different pig breeds.

Different pig breeds:

The Iberian ham is produced with greater consideration to gastronomic level because the meat is coming from pure bred pigs at least 70%, while the serrano ham the main breeds are Duroc, Landrace, Pietrain, Large White.
The Iberian (variety that tends to keep the color black, which is named "Pata negra", with little hair and long face), is a Mediterranean species selected which has the ability to accumulate fat under the skin and infiltrate under muscles.

We can meet different breeds of Iberian pig, depending on the type of feed:

  • Jamón ibérico 100%
  • Jamón ibérico 75%
  • Jamón ibérico 50%

feed serrano iberian iberico ham patanegra

The blanco ham (white) ham is one of the most consumed variety of pig, especially for the price of cheapness. It is all the pigs coming from outside the Iberian breed. We can distinguire two pork classes:

  • Jamón serrano: comes from white animals, created intensively and fed with feed, and a curing time from 7 months in cold or dry climate in mountainous areas.
  • Jamón curado: It comes from white animals, created intensively and fed with feed.

Feeding pigs:

The feeding of pigs, including ham and ham, is different.

The Iberian has several variety:

  • Jamón ibérico de bellota: feeding Bellota acorns.
  • Jamón ibérico de cebo de camposupply of natural meals, acorns and feed in soil outdoors.
  • Jamón ibérico de cebo: supply of natural food and feed.

difference serrano iberian ham

In the case of serrano ham, the main power supply are the cereal feed.


  • The curing process is one of the most important stages in the processing of Spanish ham. As regards the ham of Iberian Bellota the aging must be maintained from 24 to 36 months, while for the Serrano ham seasoning in a development from 7 to 24 months.


  • The meat of Iberian ham and intense and brilliant red color presents herbs in fat and sometimes has white granules. The meat of serrano ham is clearer, less brilliant, and usually seems to be more raw and less seasoned.

How to distinguish the different hams?

  • Label: It indicates the product category (product name, breed of pig and power) and quality assurance.
  • Certificates of quality: certain Iberian hams count with more quality certificates based on the protected designation of origin.

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