Jamon Iberico (dry-cured pork leg) is the national dish of Spain. The acorn diet gives the Iberico jamon its special, rich meaty flavor and aroma. Pigs are in constant movement in the fresh air and receive abundant nutrition. As a result, the ham becomes more meaty and fatty at the same time, approaching in properties to marbled beef. For the jamon to fully reveal its taste, you need to know what pairs with Iberico ham.
What do you serve with jamon Iberico? Jamon Iberico can be served as a separate dish, as an appetizer for dry, red wine, sherry, beer, as part of a cold snack: in sandwiches, with vegetables and fruits. Jamon Iberico goes well with olives, herbs, cheeses, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, beans and cauliflower, zucchini, potatoes and pasta.
Iberico ham is usually eaten with white bread, figs, melon, asparagus. In some recipes, it is added to salads, pasta, or pizza toppings. Excellent addition to jamon Iberico will be hard sheep or goat cheese, olives, grapes, cucumbers, green lettuce, or tomatoes. Aged red wine Rioja, Ribera del Duero, dry champagne or high-quality beer go well with jamon.
Ultimate Guide on What to Serve with Jamon Iberico
What goes well with jamon Iberico? The classic combination is jamon with melon, which can be found in almost all restaurants. In Spain itself, jamon Iberico is served in three ways:
- As a separate dish, as an appetizer for dry, red wine, sherry, beer.
- As part of a cold snack: in sandwiches, with vegetables and fruits. It goes well with olives, herbs, cheeses, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, beans and cauliflower, zucchini, potatoes and pasta.
- Jamon is also used in salads, soups, hot and stewed dishes and added just before serving. So the fat melts slightly, but the original taste is preserved.
How to Eat Iberico Ham?
- On its own. Cut Iberico ham as thin as possible and place it on a microwave-safe plate. The fatty layers of the ham will melt, it will become even tastier.
- In Catalan style. Chop the bread and rub it well with tomatoes (choose the ripe, soft and juicy). Then lightly drizzle with olive oil and salt. Spread the Iberico jamon on top.
- Touristically. Place pineapple or melon slices and Iberico jamon on one plate. The Spaniards themselves do not often eat jamon with fruit, but in all tourist restaurants, it is one of the most popular snacks.
- Add Iberico jamon to your daily meals. For example, in a light salad (jamon goes well with pear and goat or blue cheese) or an omelet. Also, dried jamon chunks are often added to light Spanish soups. Ideally, put the ham in a cold gazpacho.
Iberico ham should be cut into very thin slices. They can be eaten simply as a snack. Before that, it is better to warm up the slices so that the layers of fat melt. This will add juiciness to the meat. Fruits and vegetables will help enhance the spicy dried flavor of Iberico ham. Fruits and vegetables that go well with Iberico jamon are:
- Lettuce leaves;
- Potatoes, etc.
The Spaniards choose light, refreshing fruits. Their subtle sweetness complements the salty Iberico ham perfectly. Catalans prefer to place thin slices on fresh crispy bread topped with sweet tomatoes and olive oil. The delicacy goes well with all types of cheese. It is added to salads and soups. It is recommended to choose good wine as a drink. In the homeland of delicacies, give preference to local white or red dry wine.
Pairing Iberico Ham with Drinks
What do you drink with Iberico ham? Iberico ham goes well with a soft white wine like Martin Codax Albariño 2017 that does not overpower its taste and at the same time has acidity, which removes the oily taste. Also, the high tannin content softens the astringency of the ham, enhanced by the salt it contains.
To achieve a good combination, remember that the quality of the drink must be at the proper level. You should also maintain a balance of different aromas and tastes — do not allow one smell or taste to interrupt the other. They should emphasize each other.
Beer and Iberico Ham
In general, beer goes very well with pork products: “tandem” pork sausage and beer are generally classics. When consumed with Iberico ham, the bitter taste of beer perfectly emphasizes the rich taste of lard. The lower the density of the beer, the better it is absorbed by the taste buds.
Champagne and Iberico Ham
The combination of Iberico jamon with champagne is a whole new world that you still have to discover! Chardonnay, Meniere and Pinot Noir go well with Iberico jamon. The Joselito and Dom Pérignon collection was recognized as an exceptional combination, a mixture of products that sooner or later had to meet — sparkling champagne bubbles look great on the background of the exquisite texture of jamon.
Wine and Iberico Ham
According to experts, Iberico jamon is harmoniously combined with fino sherry, which has a multi-layered aroma with nutty and floral tones, as well as unusual freshness and fullness of taste. Others found a pair of jamon with rich Manzanilla sherry more attractive.
Excellent yields of first-class wines harvested in Spain made the wine an excellent addition to Iberico ham. Traditionally recommending Reserva and Crianza red wines with pork, experts say that these wines should not be too strong to fully enjoy the sensation of the combination of the two flavors. Young and light wines are considered the most suitable.
Recently, the consumption of pork products with white wine has become more and more common. This trend, which differs from traditional combinations, is primarily manifested in ham with dry white wines, the sour taste of which enhances the overall taste sensation. Many also argue that the ideal drink for acorn ham is Fino and Manzanilla wines. Conversely, sweet and fruity wines are not considered a good option.
The Iberian acorn jamon has a wide range of flavors, and Iberico jamon tastes differently depending on the year it was made. This is due to the amount of rain, the sun, the quality of the acorns and, finally, directly with the pasture itself. You can enjoy its unsurpassed taste with different drinks, try classic combinations, let the sommelier surprise you, or follow your intuition and decide for yourself what you like to eat the jamon with the most.