Iberian Ham

Teruel Ham


The kind of cattle apt for the production of hams, will the one which comes from crossings between:

  • Mother’s line: Landrace (standard kind) Landrace White, or cross of both.
  • Father’s line: Landrace (Standard kind) or Duroc.

Only the pigs born and fattened in farms located in the Teruel province will may provide apt hams to be destined to the elaboration of protected hams. The pig will not receive any kind of treatment or medical feeding in the 15 days previous to the sacrifice.

At the end of their maturation process hams will present the following characteristics:

  • Appearance:

– Exterior shape: elongated shape, outlined and rounded in its rims, preserving the leg. It may be presented with all the skin or outlined in a cut of ‘V’ kind.

– Weight: between 8 and 9 Kg., and never less than 7 Kg.

  • Sensories:

– Color: red and brilliant aspect in the cut, with partially infiltrated fat in the muscular mass.

– Meat: delicate flavor, little salted.

– Fat: spread consistency, brilliant, white to yellow coloration, aromatic and nice flavor.


The production zone is formed by the Teruel province.

The elaborartion zone is formed for those municipalities of the Teruel province which averange altitude wouldn’t be of less than 800 m.


Once sacrificed the animal in the slaughterhouse are obtained the hams. Then is realised the curation phase and later the maturation one.

For the hams elaboration are only used the legs coming from pigs which thickness of fat around the 4ª rib has a minimum of 4 cm., and a maximum of 7; it is obtained cutting the later extremity of the pig in its superior part by the isquio-pubic symphysis.

The males will be castrated before the entering in the feedyard and the females will not be in heat at the time of the sacrifice. Animals used for reproduction will not be used for hams obtaining, for the elaboration of protected hams by the Guarantee of Origin. The alive weight of the pig is 115-130 kg, with 8 months of life, on which during a month and a half will be fed with milk and 6 month and a half with fodders.

The hams weight will not be less than 11.5 kg. The pigs before coming to their transport to the slaughterhouse, keep a minimum fasting of 12 hours; before its sacrifice they will remain in rest during a period of time of not less than 12 hours, with the purpose of eliminating the fatigue of the transport and assuring a minimum muscular glycogen level; the sacrifice will be made by a previous daze, with an electro-shock.

The channel opening is realised at nonsuperior temperature of 10ºC during 4 hours, and a relative humidity of 90% during the first hour, and of 85% during the rest.

Once the channel is quartered and the hams are outlined they stay between 24 to 48 hours in a temperature between -2ºC and +2ºC, and at least the time necessary to obtain a +2ºC of temperature inside the piece. The transport of the hams from the slaughterhouse to the of curation and maturation places is made through in refrigerating vehicles, entering the salting warehouse with a temperature inside of ham between 0 and 2ºC.

The curation phase is compound of the next four operations:

  • Salting.

It’s realized with salt in contact with the pieces; depending on the ham’s weight, being at the most 14 days.

  • Washing.

They’re washed with lukewarm water to eliminate the stuck salt.

  • Settlement o post-salting.

In this phase the salt is spread homogeneous in all the meat pieces, removing slow and gradually all the water. The process is realised in chambers with temperatures between 3ºC and 7ºC and a relative humidity from 80% to 90%. The time of this phase will depend on the pieces weight, oscillating between the 45 and 90 days.

  • Drying.

This operation is produced in natural dryers, controlling the ventilation, which allows the optimal conditions of relative humidity and temperature. The phase takes place in a natural environment, the pieces move to maturation warehouses and/or cellars, where they are stored hung in humidity and temperature conditions due to natural environment, own of a dry and cold zone, with an average altitude higher than 800 m. over the sea level.

The duration of all the elaboration process is at least of twelve month. Concluded the maturation process and according to what the Committee of Qualification establishes, hams destined to the Guarantee of Origin will be marked with a seal fire with the word “Teruel” and with the star of the province shield.


a) Historic

June 17th of 1981 Order which recognises the Provisional Guarantee of Origin “Jamón de Teruel”.

b) Natural

– Orography.

The province of Teruel is located on the eastern part of the plateau and over a sector, the southeastern one, of the Iberian Depression. In the northeast of the province is the External or Aragonese chain of mountains, with the mountain ranges of Cucalón and Sant just (altitude 1,513 ms.), which diverge clearly towards the Internal or Castilian chain of Mountains of the Iberian edge of the plateau, constituted by Sierra Menera, the Serranía de Albarracín, with levels of maximum altitude in the zone of Tremedal (altitude 2,020 ms) and Montes Universales, with altitudes similar to the previous ones.

Inside these chains of the Iberian edge of the plateau exist two depressions with almost perpendicular direction: the one of Calatayud-Montalbán and the one of Calamocha-Teruel. Finally, from the Cucalón northern huthills to west and the Maestrazgo, in the northeastern limit of the province, towards the north and the northeast, to the Ebro river, extends the huge Iberian Depression.

– Climate.

Continental climate with Mediterranean influence of long and cold winters, with hard frosts in high woodlands. Dry climate with many cleared days. The annual precipitation is of 400 mm Approximately with about 70 rainy days.

The average annual temperature is 12ºC, the maximum absolute average temperature is 37ºC and the minimum -1OºC. The average temperatures oscillation summer-winter is 19ºC. The period free of frosts is placed between May and October.

– Hydrography.

Almost the 70 percent of the Teruel province surface belongs to the Ebro’s Basin and to this river gives its water through its tributaries: Jiloca, Huerva, Aguasvivas, Martín, Guadalope and Matarraña. The rest of the surface is distributed between 3 of the great peninsular river basins (an Atlantic one, the one from the Tajo, and two Mediterranean, the one from the Júcar-Gabriel and the one from the Turia-Guadalaviar), and those of other two rivers of smaller importance, at peninsular level, that belongs to the Mediterranean northeastern part of the plateau, those of the Monleón-Mijares system.

Consejo Regulador: D.O.P. JAMÓN DE TERUEL

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