Paleta Iberica, is known in the UK as Iberico Ham Shoulder. The shoulder is the first of two cuts from the pig; the Shoulder is the smaller front leg, while the Jamon Iberico is the hind leg; each have their own unique flavour profile, texture and aroma. The Paleta Iberica, or the Iberico Ham shoulder is the smaller leg of the animal and also has a lower percentage of fat – the Paleta Iberica fat percentage can be between 40% and 50% which means each leg has a higher yield of meat- which is chewier and lasts linger in the mouth. This gives the Iberico Ham shoulder its intensity. Due to the size, the paleta is much less expensive than the Jamon, and takes less time to cure. 

What is Paleta Iberica?

Paleta Iberica, is known in the UK as Iberico Ham Shoulder. The shoulder is the first of two cuts from the pig; the Shoulder is the smaller front leg, while the Jamon Iberico is the hind leg; each have their own unique flavour profile, texture and aroma. The Paleta Iberica, or the Iberico Ham shoulder is the smaller leg of the animal and also has a lower percentage of fat – the Paleta Iberica fat percentage can be between 40% and 50% which means each leg has a higher yield of meat- which is chewier and lasts linger in the mouth. This gives the Iberico Ham shoulder its intensity. Due to the size, the paleta is much less expensive than the Jamon, and takes less time to cure. 

Curation Process of Iberico Ham

The curation process of the Paleta Iberica is almost exactly the same as the Jamon Iberico. Firstly, the Jamon is butchered and is left to dry in sea salt. The salt intensified the flavours and helps to prevent the build up of harmful organisms. Once the Iberico Ham shoulder has rested, it is periodically cured using the age old process of modulating the temperature and humidity by opening the window to expose the Jamon to the mountain air. It is then hug to cure in a cellar where it will likely grow a fine layer of white mold, a species which is indigenous to the Iberian peninsular – this is an important component when understanding where the unique nuanced flavours come; exactly the same as a fine french cheese. Due to the Paleta’s smaller size, the curation process can take between 18-24 months.