About the Pata Negra

The term pata negra refers to the color of the nail of the pig, but in reality not all Iberian pigs have black nail. The quality depends on the breed and the race. An Iberian pig fed on acorns, combined with the right seasoning process will produce the best hams ever.


Crystallizations are formed mainly by an amino acid (tyrosine). This isn’t an indicator of alteration of the ham. Quite the contrary, the presence of such crystallization demonstrates a process of care and excellent ripeness. However, it doesn’t indicate that the pig has eaten acorns.

Pata negra (black hoof) simply refers to the color of the pig and his nails, but not all Iberian pigs have black nail nor is the nail black exclusive to the Iberian breed. The excellent quality is derived, among other things, from feeding the animal on acorns during the stage of fattening.

Slaughter, then approximately 32 months until full maturation of the ham.

The stay in the basement is about 24/32 months after which time you run the risk of having a ham too dry, even if you have had excellent results with hams more than 9 or 10 kg kept in the cellar for more than 5 years. Essentially the curing time depends on the volume and weight of the ham.

No, during the growth of the pig it needs other types of foods other than the acorn to grow and form his bone structure. It may well bear the striking weight gain during the fattening phase in the mountains, during which it feeds exclusively on acorns and natural forage.

It is not easy and the best way for consumers to recognize a ham may be the dry flavor of acorn on their tongue.

How to cut the Pata Negra

1. Tools

Ham chopping board, short and long boxcutter

2. The position of the ham

There are several theories about this, but we think it would be appropriate to start by Babilla or contramaza (stifle), so you must place the ham with the hoof leg down. Underlying this statement is the idea that the babilla contains a minor amount of fat, so it dries more quickly.

3. Cleaning

You must clean the area by removing the outer rind and the fat with the aim of avoiding strong flavors. You can use the large slices of bacon to cover the area that has been cut and let it maintain its natural state. We remove only the part of the crust in the area where you cut the ham to prevent the product to dry prematurely, we will do this with a short knife

4. When spinning

Once the bone joints in the area of the ham and Babilla we turn it and find the area called maza (mace) more fat, with more fat and the meat more flavorful

5. The cut

The cut must be straight, with fine and small slices, cutting only what you eat right now

Por último

Once finished the interior of the ham, we can use the bone in the kitchen, is very tasty and can enhance many dishes of our diet


Our data:

In Huella Artesanal s.l. we are experts in distribution, cutting and packaging of Iberian products for later export. After several years in the industry our export data according to the type of ham are:

Jamón Ibérico de Bellota 55%
Jamón Ibérico de Cebo 25%
Jamón Serrano 20%