Anatomy of a Pata Negra: Parts of an Ibérico Ham

Anatomy of Iberico Ham | Parts of an Iberian Ham
Anatomy of Iberico Ham | Parts of an Iberian Ham

The different parts of an Acorn-fed Ibérico ham (Jamón Ibérico de Bellota) provide different degrees of curation and different aromas, textures and flavors.

Anatomy of Iberico Ham:

Maza: It has a great deal of meat and intramuscular fat; it is regarded as the richest part since the juiciest, most succulent, marbled and tender slices of meat are taken from this part.

Babilla or Contramaza: This part is behind the “maza,” which is quite narrow and has less meat. Also, this part of the ham is less “juicy” because it is covered with less fat, it is usually confined by the femur and hip bone.

Caña: This is the closest part to the hoof.

Jarrete: Located between the “caña” and the “maza;” The meat that forms this part is not as tender as the babilla, but offers complex and concentrated flavors. The Jarrete can also be sliced into cubes of ham as the meat has a firmer texture.

Punta: This is one of the juiciest parts of the ham since it has a higher fat to meat ratio, thus giving it a really tasty flavor. This unique delicate and beautiful flavor is partly due to the marbling of fat into the muscle; the Punta is at the opposite side to the hoof.

Jamón Ibérico de Bellota is also commonly called “Pata Negra,” and needless to say, it is absolutely delicious!

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