Experience: Iberico 'Pata Negra' Ham 5J Cinco Jotas along with a Rolex Submariner ref. 16800. When Two Classics Meet.

It's been a while since we brought you content around food, one of the key components of the good life. The Iberico acorn-fed ham from Spain is as classic and refined as an unpolished Rolex Submariner 16800 with tons of real patina. Faithful to its origins, Cinco Jotas makes one of the finest acorn-fed hams in Spain and the company has maintained the purity of the 'Pata Negra' —black hoof— Iberian pigs they use as well as the proper preservation of their natural ecosystem —in which the pigs develop— flawlessly, just like Rolex has kept its DNA intact over the last 60 years. The 'Pata Negra' acorn-fed ham Cinco Jotas, just like real patina on a Rolex Submariner is easily identified by its color, texture, overall appearance and cannot be faked as those that are true connoisseurs will be able to spot it.

The peculiar sweetness of the 'Jabugo Pata Negra' ham is a result of the delicate diet that Iberian Black Hoof pigs have in the Jabugo Dehesa woodlands. 'Jabugo' is found in the Aracena y Picos de Aroche Natural Park in Spain —declared the Sierra Morena Dehesas Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. This one-of-a-kind village has a unique and privileged micro-climate which is ideal for curing 100% Ibérico ham. There is perfect synchrony in the important curing process which moderates, creates and boosts the texture and flavor that distinguishes a good Cinco Jotas ham from Jabugo.

For more than 130 years, Cinco Jotas has continued to make all of its products in an artisan and natural way, conserving all of the experience and traditions handed down generation to generation. The natural Cinco Jotas cellars maintain a stable moisture and temperature level to provide for slow and natural curing where nature is the main focus.

A team of veterinarians and farming specialists are fully and exclusively dedicated to studying, caring for and monitoring the 100% Iberian pigs from Spain and its habitat to guarantee an unparalleled product. Throughout its first year of life these free-range feed from not only acorns but also other food available in nature such as wild berries, roots, mushrooms, grass, aromatic plants, small invertebrates and other nuts. This is the completely natural diet that provides this pork with excellent flavour and aroma for the different products made from 100% Ibérico pigs raised free range.

The purity of an Ibérico pig is determined by its genetic origin. 100% Ibérico pigs are only those that descend from a 100% Ibérico mother and father. While most Iberian hams come from mixed race Ibérico pigs, the 'Jabugo' from Cinco Jotas comes 100% Iberian acorn-fed pigs that happen to only be 5% of the Iberian pig population in Spain.

The woodlands of the peninsular southwest guarantee the best diet for Cinco Jotas 100% Ibérico pigs. It is during the acorn-rich montanera season when the animals travel up to 14 kilometers a day to find acorns, their main food which is responsible for the organoleptic qualities of the ham —properties that help reduce bad cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. With the exercise these 100% Ibérico pigs do in the woodlands and their adaptive capacity, the pork fat infiltrates the inside of their muscles to create a texture that offers unbeatable flavor.

After salt curing the ham over 24 months, the result is a perfectly balanced Jabugo ham with a sweet and very aromatic finish. Best paired with a Spanish wine from Rioja or Ribera del Duero, be prepared to delight your senses in every way and form possible. Once served, the ham should remain on the plate at room temperature for about 15 minutes before eating it to reach its ideal 75ºF temperature.

Sticker Price $150 USD per pound. For more info on 5J Cinco Jotas click here.

Posted on August 9, 2014 and filed under Food Wine & Cigars.