La Jabugueña, Jamón ibérico cebo de campo

£259.00 (£33.42/kg)

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Black iberian (pata negra), free-range, cured for 24-30 months
Weight: 7,5 - 8kg

These Jabugo hams are "cebo de campo", which means they are free-range, living their lives in the fields, but principally grain-fed. There is a vast difference between these hams and normal "cebo" hams, which are made from pigs that never leave their barn - principally, these contain less fat and have more flavour, although the flavour is far milder than the taste of the bellota hams. This has made grain-fed ham quite popular around Europe, as the dark, heavy bellota taste is not for everyone.

La jabugueña's pigs roam the hundreds of hectares of unspoiled land in the Aracena uplands outside the town of Jabugo. Perhaps there is something about the vegetation of the area (which includes a national park that was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1980 for its wealth of autochthonous mediterranean flora) that contributes to this unique, exquisite taste. 

One aspect of free-range hams is that they vary in size. These hams weigh between 7,5 and 8 kilos.

About La jabugeña and their campaign against factory farming

La jabugueña is one of the original master ham producers in Huelva, along with Sanchez Romero Carvajal (of Cinco Jotas fame). The family-owned company has extensive land holdings in the hills outside the town of Jabugo - a town that has become synonymous with the world's best iberian ham.

The Escuredo family, which has owned and run the company since 1967 (and has been in the ham trading business since before the Spanish Civil War), is currently fighting back against the growth of factory pig farming on the Iberian peninsula. In November 2001 the law was changed to allow industrial farmers to use the term "ibérico". The result has been the rapid growth of iberian pigs raised in the worst of the factory chicken farm tradition- the pigs live their entire, shortened lives eating industrial food formula in darkened barns in less than a square meter of space. They are fattened and slaughtered as fast as possible. The ham is flavourless and immature, often salty, with a pasty texture that doesn't do Iberian ham justice. This industrial meat is then sold as "traditional Iberian ham", often at a low price.

Meanwhile, La jabugeña's traditionally raised pigs roam on an average of 5000 square metres of space (each!), live almost twice as long, and get plenty of exercise searching for acorns and other edible plants. The family strictly avoids genetically modified grain for their "cebo de campo" (free-range and grain-fed) and "recebo de campo" (free-range and partially grain-fed) animals. Salting and curing is done by hand, overseen by master curers. The resulting ham is exquisite - the only thing missing is a violin quartet standing by as you eat it.

We have visited La jabugueña's lands and curing houses and seen firsthand that the old methods are still in place. As part of our work (ahem) we taste their ham regularly.

In trying to get this law changed, the Escuredo family is standing up for the traditional methods they continue to employ. We support the Escuredos and their fight - we want ham to taste good!

“Many thanks, it arrived last Monday and looks fantastic. Excellent service and I look forward to enjoying the product very soon!”

–James Bradley, London, United Kingdom
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