Dehesa de Extremadura
Dehesa de Extremadura is a DOP Ibérico ham from Extremadura in Spain. It is produced in 85 municipalities in the provinces of Cáceres and Badajoz. The area has vast areas of pastures with oak woods (holm and cork), providing an ideal food base for the pigs. The pigs are of Iberian stock, with crosses of 75% Iberian/25% Duroc-Jersey being permitted. The environment, the acorn feed and the breed mean that the pig fattens up when it finishes growing, and at the peak of its development provides an excellent product with exceptional characteristics.
The hams are elongated, weighing not less than 4.5 kg for legs and 3.5 kg for shoulders. They have an internal colour of pink to medium red; the flavour is not very salty or sweet; the texture is not too coarse and they have a yellowish-white, aromatic fat. The aroma is pleasant and characteristic.
The hams are kept for a maximum of 48 hours, then are salted at 1-4° C and 80-90% humidity, washed in lukewarm water and drained for two days at about 30C. They are then left to cure in chambers, then are dried in natural drying rooms, and matured in cellars for between 6 and 30 months.
Dehesa de Extremadura is a ham of exceptional quality and is therefore very expensive.