Free shipping on orders $75 or more

Bellotas ibéricos COVAP

The Mighty Acorn: The Sweet Secret to Ibérico Ham 

Acorn-fed cured meats and Ibérico products are beyond special. They pertain to a select group of gourmet foods praised by consumers around the world. In fact, the meat is so unique that acorn-fed Ibérico products are methodically inspected to comply with demanding requirements, which ultimately guarantee their quality. Yet the award-winning texture and flavor of Acorn-Fed 100% Ibérico Ham is far less mysterious than you might think.

For Ibérico products, it’s all about the pig and the acorn. These outstanding nuances can be directly attributed to the Ibérico pigs themselves— their free-range lifestyle and the incredible diet that accompanies this way of grazing. Unlike other pigs, Ibéricos consume hundreds of acorns as a part of their natural and highly-nutritious diet. And it’s this specific variety of acorn that makes our products, be it chorizo, loin, or pork shoulder, so sought after in both Spain and the United States.

The Type of Acorn Matters 

The acorn is a fruit or tree nut that originates from the Quercus tree species. Although there are hundreds of acorn varieties, the best for feeding Ibérico pigs come from holm oak and the cork oak trees, which grow all throughout southern Spain. 

Why are these acorns so important? The acorns that grow on these trees have sweet and nutritional characteristics that are incredibly interesting from a gastronomic perspective. They’re very well-balanced in flavor and composed of 40% carbohydrates and 20% fat. Additionally, from a nutritional perspective, these acorns contain high-quality unsaturated fatty acids and are rich in antioxidants. 

The sweetness that’s so characteristic of the acorns from the Los Pedroches Valley notably influences the final flavor of our ham, chorizo, loin, and every other acorn-fed product. A 100% Ibérico ham, for example, raised on a diet of sweet acorns, truly differentiates itself from other cured meats— even from ones raised on natural diets but that don’t consume acorns. You can note the difference in aspects like the appearance of the fat. A slice of Acorn-Fed 100% Ibérico Ham is brighter and the fat that covers the protein is usually more transparent. Acorn-fed ham also has a sweet aftertaste, which balances out the faintly acidic nuances from the fat’s healthy oleic acid, creating a beautiful equilibrium of flavor. 

The Climate and the Terrain of the Dehesa 

The ancient oak trees that make up the dehesa (the Spanish meadow) in the Los Pedroches Valley, are the prime reason why this area has what’s called a Protected Denomination of Origin (D.O.P). In Spain, a D.O.P. denotes an area as having particularly specific qualities for growing certain varieties of food, wine, or in this case, raising Ibérico pigs. 

Located in the region of Córdoba in southern Spain, the Los Pedroches Valley lays claim to 30,000 hectares (almost 75,000 acres) of holm oak trees. This environment undoubtedly creates the perfect space for our Ibérico pigs to roam freely and guarantees a flavorful Acorn-Fed Ibérico Ham of the utmost quality. 

Thanks to the terrain and the weather of the dehesa, our pigs at COVAP graze at an altitude of 650 meters (2133 feet) in a perfect Mediterranean climate. In fact, these mild temperatures also guarantee an optimal curing process for our cooperative’s chorizos, loins, salchichón, pork shoulders, and hams. It’s an incredible symbiosis that leads to one of the most delicious products in the world

At the end of the day, the secret behind an incredible product like Acorn-Fen 100% Ibérico Ham from the Los Pedroches D.O.P is all about the natural context— the beautiful and beneficial space where these incredible animals roam. It’s this environment, and the deliciously nutty acorn, that keeps our pigs healthy and produces such an outstanding culinary masterpiece. 

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Related posts

What Our Clients Say

Jordi Ramos Review

Jordi Ramos San Francisco, CA

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Highly recommended! Real Iberico products coming from Spain! Super nice packaging and the Taste is amazing. I usually bring one of these product + a bottle of wine when I am going to my friend’s place for dinner, and it is always the success of the dinner table!

Review of Julia Lee

Julia Lee New York, NY

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I am in love with the covap products! They are the real thing, and you won’t be able to find a better quality in the market! The jamón melts in your mouth! And the salchichón and chorizo are completely amazing! Even the little ones enjoy them so much! The packaging is very neat and easy to store. We are clients for life!

David Lopez Review

David Lopez Miami, FL

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I’m so happy with my order! Loved the packaging and we received the order a day before than expected. Product quality is amazing, I feel I’m back to Spain! Can’t wait to get me next order!

Shipping & Returns

We made it easy for you. Free shipping on all orders over $75. Smaller orders have a $15 flat rate.

Read more

Need help?

Read our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about our store. You can also contact us directly.

Read more